Building Character in Our Children
Good character is one of the most important things we can give our children. It is best when both talked about and modeled in our daily lives. If you are already doing your best to be a role model of good character, and are looking for ways to speak to your child or children about it, here are some helpful ideas that can get you started.
Be in Your Child’s Corner
No one wants to take direction from someone who doesn’t even seem to like them. It is up to you to convey to your child that you love them and enjoy being with them. Show them through your actions that you are their biggest cheerleader, but don’t forget to verbalize it as well. A child should always know that their parent is their biggest supporter.
Explain and Explain Some More
No matter how much you’ve talked about character, it can take time for understanding to occur. Communicate with your children about character and all that it means to you. Discuss it at every available opportunity.
Conversations can happen at any time. Don’t put yourself in a box as to how your values must be taught. Guide your children’s character with discussions that they have permission to bring up as many times as they need to in order to fully understand.
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Use Personal Life Experience
One of the best ways to communicate character to our children is to give them examples of experiences from our personal lives. Children love stories, especially when it involves someone they know personally. Use your own experiences, the good and the bad, to bring these lessons to life, and see what a difference it can make to your child.
Learn about the Lives of Positive Role Models
There is no shortage of good role models. Take a look through history and find a few of your personal favorites. Choose men and women who displayed strong character despite challenging circumstances.
Your child will be able to identify with, and learn from, those who have chosen the path less travelled. Throughout history, there have been individuals who chose to display good character, and those who embraced the opposite. Their lives tell the tales of which choice leads to happiness and success.
Be a Good Listener
No matter how well you can convey your message, listening trumps all when it comes to teaching your child. Being a good listener will open the doors of communication between you and your child. It will enable you to hear what your child is really saying or asking, and give you opportunities to input into their lives. Be a listener and you will find far more opportunities to speak to your child than you could have otherwise.
Communication is, without a doubt, one of the most important things a parent will do with their child throughout their lifetime. When given the opportunity, use this communication to input valuable life lessons. Teaching character to our children is one of the greatest gifts we can give to them and everyone whose lives they touch.
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