Knight Club: How to Ride a Dragon


Yesterday I gave my son Rohan (age 3 and 5/6ths) a set of colored dragons and attempted to explain my four-dimensional system for emotional maturity.  He grasped the basic idea quite quickly, though I had to modify some of the terms (e.g., “Obedience” instead of “Humility”).

Dragon Spurs Reins
Fear Safety Bravery
Anger Caring Thoughtfulness
Desire Hope Patience
Pride Honor Obedience

What’s interesting about this list is that the “Spurs” column is more maternal/feminine, while the “Reins” are more paternal/masculine.

I may label the combination of “Bravery-Thoughtfulness-Patience-Obedience” as the martial virtues, with “Safety-Caring-Hope-Honor” as the domestic virtues.  The martial virtues are what we expect of soldiers.  They are what we fight with, as opposed to the domestic virtues — which are what we fight for.

Another thought I had is that for girls, the order might be reversed. I’ve been talking with Rohan’s preschool teacher about adapting “Knight Club” for her classroom, with a corresponding “Princess Club” for girls. However, I have very little insight into the core issues facing women and girls. It seems likely that these same four emotions drive their behavior, but it is equally likely that they pathologize differently.

I wonder if when switching from dragons (for knights) to horses (for princesses), the domestic virtues are the reins and the martial values the spurs:

Horses Spurs Reins
Fear Bravery Safety
Anger Thoughtfulness Caring
Desire Patience Hope
Pride Obedience Honor

Maybe not, but having at least a “wrong answer” gives me something to start with, and perhaps inspire feedback from those who understand better.

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