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OTHER ITA SITES:
A Year’s Worth of Character Training to Last a Lifetime
Ever wonder why some kids are the way they are? Ever wonder why some kids seem to lack the basics in true inner character? Well, just exactly how did we think children would ever get character – without being taught character. Long gone are the days when whole communities worship weekly. Long gone are the days when everyone in our small societal circles subscribe to the same exacting morals and principles to guide life and living.
I remember when my son was young we made a move to a new state. We left behind a community within a community. We left behind a large group of people (friends and neighbors) that subscribed to similar ethics and standards of behavior. Everyone we knew, predominantly, up-held the same guiding principles that our family lived by. Then that ever fateful day. It was during the first week at his new preschool & playing with his new neighborhood friends in our new state. My son walked in the house and I made a simple statement “because that is how we do it.” To which my son replied “well, Mike’s family doesn’t do it that way and they don’t even care about that stuff.” UGH ! We had come to another milestone in parenting: awareness of diversity within family styles and values.
The reality is that kids DO learn through osmosis; meaning, they will assimilate and become what they see around them. However, what is it that they see around them? Aside from home-schooled children (or those that attend private academies) children today are away from their families up to 12 hours a day in some cases including before and after school care. Being gone either 8 hours or 12 hours a day leaves precious little time for a family to model all the appropriate qualities they wish to instill within their children. Not to mention, these hours are relegated to EARLY morning hours (barely awake time) and late evening before bed hours (barely coherent time again).
Over a lifetime our children will spend the majority of their time away from us. They will be witnesses to their friends, their friend’s families, movies, worship communities, television shows, video games, scouting troops, music, sports teams, camps & conferences, etc. There will be an excess of information coming into your child’s awareness and all of it leading to who your child becomes.
There are many many places your child will observe character, some of it good and some of it not good. Besides what type of character-- which attributes will your child randomly be exposed to? And will your child be able to identify them, understand them, and discern how to incorporate them in such a way to be a wonderful adult?
Here is a list of 52 qualities of internal character. You can take one item a week to fill up a year’s worth of character training within your own home. You can design the curriculum, buy the curriculum, or hire someone to work with your family to tailor content that reflects the lessons you’d like your child to learn along the way in life. As I said before, long gone are the days when parents can just trust that throughout the day their child is taking in the right information to become a responsible, highly functional, & happy member of society. Take the list. Tweak it to fit your lifestyle and preferences. Have fun with it. And enjoy knowing you are not leaving your child’s character up to chance.
Until next time--- all the best,
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