Parent Tip

Building Good Character In Children

Good character traits are developed through the examples you set, as well as by direct teaching. Here are some suggestions to help you children learn responsibility, self-discipline, individuality, respect, courtesy and compassion. 

Responsibility

 Keep promises!

 Give children chores at home.

 When conflicts happen, deal directly with your child.

 When you make a mistake, admit it and take care of it.

 Demonstrate initiative and reward it in your children.

 Cause leads to effect. Discuss the consequences of actions.

 Offer your children choices.

 Respect your children’s needs and wants. But remember, you make the final decision.

Self-discipline

 Clean up after yourself. If you leave a mess, so will your children.

 Don’t spend what you can’t afford. Your children will learn to budget.

 Cooperate with others. Your children will learn teamwork.

 Research your decisions. Your children will learn to make good choices.

 Demonstrate negotiation skills. Your children will learn to negotiate.

 Reward responsible decisions with words of praise. Individuality

 Teach your children to stand up for their beliefs and values.

 Support their individual interests, even if they differ from yours.

 Don’t have a “plan” for what you want your children to be.

 Don’t make comparisons of your child to others.

 Let your children make decisions whenever it is safe to do so.

Respect and Courtesy

 Say “please” and “thank you.” Your children will follow your lead.

 Don’t interrupt. Neither will you children.

 Let people know you appreciate them. Your children will learn to give appropriate compliments.

 Speak with respect to all people at all times. Your children may be exposed to inappropriate language at school, so they will need firm and friendly reminders. Set the example for each of the following: Don’t shame or ridicule others. If you do, your children will too. Let your children speak for themselves. If you put words in their mouths they will feel disrespected and will question their own thinking. Remember to actively listen to you children. They will learn to listen respectfully. Compassion

 Involve your children in service projects and join them. Discuss the experiences afterwards, talking about what they saw and felt.

 Answer your children’s questions about diversity honestly and accurately. Discuss contributions made by people of divers ethnic backgrounds and abilities.

 Avoid using language that stereotypes people or events. When you and your children hear others use stereotypes, discuss the negative impact these words can have.

 Provide unconditional love to your children. They will learn to be accepting and compassionate.

© 2002 The Positive Line #79930

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