Raising Courageous Children in a Cowardly Culture

Raising Courageous Children in a Cowardly Culture

by Susan Neuhalfen

It’s not every day you meet a guy like Jim Capra, and that’s a shame.

Jim grew up a son of a NYPD officer and one of seven kids in Queens. He went into the Navy as a medic for four years and wanted to go to college so in a twist of fate, he attended school in Albany, NY, to get his degree in criminal justice and consequently met the love of his life.

“We were both sort of seeing other people when we met, but we knew almost immediately we were meant to be together,” he said. “I can remember talking to her one night about our goals and what we wanted and we both wanted six kids. Now we have six kids.”

His goal after college was to become an agent for the US Drug Enforcement Administration. His wife was a computer science and math major heavily pursued by IBM so they both went to work both on their careers and their family while they waited for the call from the DEA.

It finally came in December of 1986 and with one baby in tow and another on the way, they picked up and moved to California where he worked his way across the country and finally to Washington, D.C. to become the Chief of Operations for the DEA.

“I got to pursue my calling in life,” he said. “I was very fortunate to have a supportive family.”

When asked how he balanced such a large family and such a large career, Capra said the principles of leadership remain the same whether you’re dealing with a work unit or a family unit.

“You have to have a genuine concern for the development of those you are entrusted to lead,” said Capra. “It’s about people, purpose and passion, in that order. Once the children were born, our lives revolved around their upbringing.”

Capra is currently the CEO and Founder of The Front Line Leadership Group, a leadership training and development firm in Argyle. He has gone on to write books such as Leadership at the Front Line, Lessons Learned about Loving, Leading and Legacy from a Warrior and Public Servant as well as a children’s book entitled The Eagle and the Seagulls: A Wisdom Story for Children and Adults. He also speaks to a number of groups and presents leadership training for the Dallas PD and others.

His current passion and newest book, however, focus on the family. Raising Courageous Children in a Cowardly Culture is the book that Capra has written along with his wife, Shelly. After raising six successful children, Capra wants to send a message of hope to parents who are concerned about our current society and the influence it has on children.

“We are too busy judging ourselves as parents against others,” said Capra. “We need to stop helicopter parenting and start preparing our kids for a world that is severely lacking in moral and ethical principles.”

Capra will be the first to tell you that he is no parenting expert. Every child is different and there’s no perfect formula.  He will, however, tell you that as parents we are called to pour into our children a moral and ethical foundation so that they may withstand anything that comes into their path.

According to her husband, Shelly Capra is the brains of the family. In the foreward for the book, she discusses the question of right and wrong. 

“If there is no real right or wrong then one plus one can equal three,” says the woman who graduated with honors in math and computer science. ”And if one plus one can equal three, how then are we able to build a stable house, bridge or building?”

Capra said that he and his wife kept their kids in public schools because they didn’t believe in putting them in a “religious bubble” or coddling them. Eventually they will have to face a fallen world and be challenged and mocked for what they believe. You have to prepare them for it and help them to develop the faith and courage to step out.

When each of his girls reached high school, he wrote them letters.  The letters gave them guidance and encouragement, explaining to each that God has a purpose for her and to be selective with whom she spends time. He also told them that even if they do fall, God will forgive them. 

“Don’t think your kids won’t be tempted,” he said. “Everyone’s walk is different.”

All of his children also had to put themselves through college. With six kids and a government job, it was unrealistic to take on the debt. They all did, with three attending different military academies.

Something he never let his family forget, however, is that there is no place
like home. 

“I always told my kids, if you find yourself in quicksand, home is your refuge,” said Capra. “But we never solved their problems for them. It was up to them to get themselves out of whatever mess they were in. However, we always stood by their side as they faced adversity and their own distinct challenges.”

His books may be ordered at http://www.frontlineleadershipgroup.com. The new book Raising Courageous Children in a Cowardly Culture is scheduled to be released before the end of 2016.

Jim’s contact information for speaking engagements is on the website as well as videos of previous speeches.

You can also follow Jim via: blog: loveleadlegacy.wordpress.com or twitter: @loveleadlegacy

Proverbs 22:6 Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

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