The father of a second grader bragged, “Jesse received 100% on his math and spelling tests.” “Wonderful!” said his grandparents. Jesse smiled, “It’s because I have a big brain.” We grill our kids about homework. We fuss when it’s sloppy. Good report cards make us proud. Why? We want our children to succeed. Like the father in the story, we love bragging about their “big brains.”
What about Character?
Would you like to brag, “Yesterday my children earned 100% in character?” Training your children to do homework is easy. Training them to do the right thing is harder unless you have the right tools.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said,
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.”
9 Parenting Tips and Tools for Building Character:
Become the Character You Want Your Children to Follow.
1. If you don’t want your children to swear, don’t swear.
2. If you don’t want your children to gossip, speak kindly of others or say nothing at all.
3. If you don’t want your children to lie, tell the truth.
Get Your Children to Think about Character:
4. Go to the library. Ask the librarian for inspiring stories about character.
5. Read and discuss those stories with your children.
6. Choose simple character quotes and sayings to inspire them too.
I remember my mother’s voice, “A stitch in time saves nine.” That quote still inspires me to take care of problems before they become too large
Other Character Building sayings included:
* Don’t air dirty laundry
* Actions speak louder than words
* Walls have ears
* Always look on the bright side
* An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
* An apple a day keeps the doctor away
Which wise sayings will you choose to inspire your children?
Get Your Children to Talk about Character.
Use dilemma discussions. Children love to give their opinions. It makes them feel you value them.
7. Pretend a bully lives next door to you. He calls you names, puts you down in front of other kids and punches you. What will you say? What will you do? Why?
8. Pretend you earned a bad report card. You don’t want to show to your parents. What will you do? Why?
9. Pretend your friends are outdoors playing your favorite game. You’re supposed to finish your chores before you play. Your parents might not notice if you play before you work. What will you do? Why?
Dilemmas like those are easy for children to discuss.
Praise them for their good solutions. When the real dilemmas test their characters, they’ll remember their own good advice. Your discussions will help them do the right thing.
One more thing, don’t easily jump in with your opinion or tell them they’re wrong.
Conclusion for Building Character in Children:
Building character doesn’t have to be difficult. Use the right tools. Be the model you want your children to follow. Get them to think with character building stories. Inspire them with wise sayings and quotes. Encourage them to talk by using dilemma discussions. These are some fun ways to build their smart brains and caring hearts. Start today. Help them earn 100% in character.
Jean Tracy, MSS, invites you to subscribe to her FREE top-rated Parenting Newsletter, “Tips and Tools for Character Builders” at http://www.KidsDiscuss.com and receive 80 fun activities to share with your kids.
Become a better parent. PicK up Jean’s Dilemma Discussion Kit at http://www.kidsdiscuss.com/parent_resource_center.asp?pr_id=kd010 Raise your children with a 100% character.
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