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9 Parenting Tips for Building Character in Children

By Jean Tracy, MSS

Are you unsure about your child's character? Do you know how he really thinks and acts? If you'd like 9 fun parenting tips for building his character, look inside.

The father of a second grader bragged, "Jesse received 100% on his math and spelling tests."

"Wonderful!" said his grandparents.

Jesse smiled, "It's because I have a big brain."

We grill our kids about homework. We blow up when it's sloppy. Good report cards make us proud. Why? We want our children to succeed. Like the father in the story, we love bragging about their "big brains."

What about Character?

Would you like to brag, "Yesterday my children earned 100% in character?" Training your children to do homework is easy. Training them to do the right thing is harder unless you have the right tools.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said,

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us."

9 Parenting Tips and Tools for Building Character:

Be the model you want your children to follow.

    If you don't want your children to swear, don't swear.
    If you don't want your children to gossip, speak kindly of others.
    If you don't want your children to lie, tell the truth.

Get your children to think.

    Go to the library. Ask the librarian for inspiring stories about character.
    Read and discuss those stories with your children.
    Choose simple character quotes and sayings to inspire them too.

I remember my mother's voice, "A stitch in time saves nine." That quote still inspires me to take care of problems before they become too large.

Other sayings were:

Don't air dirty laundry
Actions speak louder than words
Walls have ears
Always look on the bright side
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
An apple a day keeps the doctor away

Which wise sayings would you choose to inspire your children?

Get your children to talk.

Use dilemma discussions. Children love to give their opinions. It makes them feel important. Here are 3 of 50 problems from my Dilemma Discussion Kit:

    Pretend a bully lives next door to you. He calls you names, punches you, and puts you down in front of other kids. What will you say? What will you do? Why?
    Pretend you earned a bad report card. You don't want to show to your parents. What will you do? Why?
    Pretend your friends are outdoors playing your favorite game. You're supposed to finish your chores before you play. Your parents might not notice if you play before you work. What will you do? Why?

Dilemmas like these are easy for children to discuss. Praise them for their good solutions. When the real dilemmas test their characters, they'll remember their own good advice. Your discussions will help them do the right thing.

Conclusion for Building Character in Children:

Building character doesn't have to be difficult. Use the right tools. Be the model you want your children to follow. Get them to think with character building stories. Inspire them with wise sayings and quotes. Encourage them to talk by using dilemma discussions. These are some fun ways to build their smart brains and caring hearts. Start today. Help them earn 100% in character.


Feel free to use this article in your newsletters, blog, or website when you include the following:

Jean Tracy, MSS, publishes a FREE Parenting Newsletter. Subscribe and receive 80 fun activities to share with your children.

Become a better parent. Pick up Jean's Dilemma Discussion Kit Raise your children with character.

Want fun discussion stories, questions, and puzzles? Pick up Character Building on BackTalk Street Have fun with your child and build character too.

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Dilemma Discussion Kit

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