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Character Building - How Playing School with Kids Increases Character

By Jean Tracy, MSS

Do your kids play school? Do you ever play school with them? Find out the secret to playing school and building character.

Parenting Skills - How using child's play can increase character in kids:

Many children love playing school. Why not consider playing school with character building in mind? Sometimes you can be the teacher and, at other times, the student. Here's what I suggest:

  • Gather several typical childhood dilemmas.
  • Put them in a small box.
  • Have a student pick a moral dilemma from the box.
  • As a group, discuss the dilemma together.

Parenting Tip – Consider using this moral dilemma:

You are friends with Nicole. You've been friends since first grade. Now that you are in fourth grade you want to be popular with more kids. When you and Nicole are around your classmates, you put her down.

Nicole tells you to cut it out. You ask her, "What's wrong with you? Can't you take a little teasing?" You don't want to lose Nicole as a friend but you also want to be popular.

Parenting Skills – Consider using these questions to guide the discussion:

  • Is Nicole too sensitive? Why or why not?
  • If you were Nicole, what would you do?
  • What are 3 ways solve this moral dilemma with Nicole?
  • Have you ever told someone to stop teasing you? What happened and how did you feel?

Parenting Advice – Consider including these points in the discussion:

  • Words can be hurtful.
  • Most people don't like to be teased.
  • Being a good friend means treating others the way you like to be treated.
  • Apologizing is a good skill to learn.
  • Sometimes friendships change with time.

Why not play school with your kids? You'll be sharing an activity they love. You'll have fun and the discussions will be lively. You'll learn what your children think about moral dilemmas and you'll be building character too.


Pick up your copy of Parents As Teachers - 137 Teaching Ideas from Birth to 9 Years and enjoy the fun of teaching your child the tools for success.

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