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How Parents Build Character with Fun Dilemmas

By Jean Tracy, MSS

Building character in kids with discussion dilemmas is easy when you know what to ask. Dilemmas can remove the tunnel vision of "me, myself, and I." Come, look inside and discover how fun dilemmas work.

If your child has tunnel vision, you'll know because she usually focuses on herself. She might say, "I'm first. It's mine. I want the biggest one." Don't be worried. Most kids start with tunnel vision. Your task is to help her care about others too.

True Story ~

As a teacher, I remember a student who tattled, whined, and always wanted to be first. The sound of her voice, the pouts on her face, even the way she walked when she said, "I get to be first in line," turned her classmates away. Nobody liked her. Nobody invited her to their birthdays. Nobody played with her either.

She needed to broaden her vision. She needed to care about other children. It was time for dilemma discussions.

The classroom discussions helped her see how other kids felt. She did listen. She began to share her desserts and show other students how to solve problems in math. By the end of the year she looked happier. Kids liked her too.

Dilemma discussions are also perfect for home. You can use them whenever they're needed or whenever you feel like it.

Why not have discussions around the dinner table, in the family meeting, the car, or on a walk? Give your child dilemmas to consider and you'll find out how she thinks. Knowing you're interested, she'll like giving her opinions. She'll feel important. She'll be preparing for real life dilemmas too.

Ask dilemmas like these ~

1. Pretend you enjoy tattling on your classmates. You just tattled on your best friend for not doing her work. How do you think your friend feels? How could you act better?

2. Pretend you just argued with your mom about doing your homework. You told her you hated her. How do you think your mother feels? How could you act better?

3. Pretend you don't like the kid next door. His family is less well off so you made fun of his cheaper clothes. How do you think the boy feels? How could you act better?

Teaching your kids empathy and problems solving is the best way for building character. Moral dilemmas get them to think before problems occur. Moral dilemmas prepare them to face life's challenges. Moral dilemmas help kids let go of tunnel vision and consider others too.

Character Building ~ Why Asking Moral Dilemmas Must Start When Your Kids Are Young:

Let's face it. What do you fear most when your kids hit the teen years? Will the pop culture steer them in the wrong direction? Will they become involved with tobacco, drugs, or violence? Will, they lie, cheat, and steal to get what they want?

You can help your child open her eyes. Moral dilemmas will prepare her now for making character building choices later.

Why not start helping your kids think right about wrong today? You can turn your tunnel vision kids into kids of character. It just takes practice.


Pick up Character Building: Problem Stories for Family Discussions 3 great discussion BONUSES are included:

15 car topics for those long vacation drives or short rides to the store
18 ways to spark your family discussions for building character
51 family conversations starters

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