“To educate a person in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society. ” -Theodore Roosevelt, U. S. President
Teddy Roosevelt hit the mark with his words. To educate a child in reading, writing, and arithmetic, and not about living is to raise a menace to society.
How do we as parents, teachers, and mentors help children build character? Below you will notice the five character-building goals to instill in your children. Using questions as practical tools is an easy and excellent way to promote those goals and build character too.
Imagine that a boy named Harold recently moved into your neighborhood. He constantly causes trouble. The school principal just sent him home with a note addressed to his parents about his acting out in class. You and your child discuss Harold’s problems. You center your discussion on the five key goals listed below. To instill each goal, ask your child the following practical questions:
Empathy-Being aware of and caring about others’ feelings.
Question: If you were Harold, how would you feel?
Role Taking-Putting oneself into another's shoes and understanding where they are coming from.
What do you think Harold wanted by acting out in class?
Social Awareness-Being aware of other’s opinions, their needs, their likes, and dislikes.
If you were a classmate of Harold’s, what might you think of Harold?
Self-Reflection-Examining our own thoughts, feelings, and, behaviors.
Question: Have you ever misbehaved in class? How did you feel about yourself?
Internalizing Good Advice-Taking to heart the advice your child gives to others and following it when he or she needs it.
If you were giving good advice to Harold, what would you tell him?
Congratulations! By asking the above questions, you have just strengthened your child’s character because you have awakened your child’s thoughtful mind and caring heart.
We’ve examined what goals to instill and what questions to ask. Let's learn where to build character by asking the above questions in the following situations:
Problem characters on TV
Problems on the school bus
Problems in the classroom
Problems in the neighborhood
Problems at home
Problems in discussion stories
Now, it’s time to take action. If you’re like most busy parents just remember the questions and ask them often. Get your children to think and to feel wisely. By using these tools now and you will be building character in your child and a better society for us all.
About the Author:
Jean Tracy, MSS
Learn powerful parenting concepts that you can use right now! Informative articles written by this seasoned therapist brings you the tips and tools you must use to raise your awesome kids with solid characters. Sign up for this FREE Parenting Newsletter, Tips and Tools for Character Builders, and download FREE bonding activities when you subscribe at: http://www.KidsDiscuss.com
You are welcome to reproduce this article when you include the above information about the author. Forward it to your friends too.