Every parent wants their child to grow up with good, strong character, but how we as parents can help them achieve this is not always very clear. We all know character when we see it, but it can be hard to define. What is character? How can we build it? How can I teach it to my child? These are important questions with life-changing answers. When is the best time to teach your child about character? Now and always.
1. You know them. You know the people who have good character. They are the people you look up to, your heroes, the ones who are always there for you. They are your best friends, teammates, mentors. Do you want to build character like this?
2. Building character. Building up character is the same as becoming the-best-version-of-yourself. It’s not an easy process, but it’s one of the most worthwhile things you can do.
3. Attitude. People with strong character take on an attitude of courage. They recognize that failure is a natural part of our experience in life and that what you learn and how you respond to failure is infinitely more important. It’s not about how many times you get knocked down, it’s about how many times you get back up.
4. Generosity. People of good character are the most generous people in the world. They are generous with their money, yes, but also with their time and talents. They care very much for other people and want to help make a difference.
5. Relationships. Friends want to have friends with good character. There is almost nothing someone with good character won’t do to help his or her friends. Surround yourself with other people of strong character, it will change your life.
6. Humanity. At the core of good character is a simple superpower: empathy. It teaches us not to judge, to recognize that everybody is carrying a heavy burden, and it requires us to really listen to others and treat people like people.
7. Self-knowledge. In order to grow in character, we need to really get to know ourselves and become comfortable with silence and reflection. Start small, try spending ten minutes a day in the classroom of silence getting to know yourself better.
8. Dreams. People with strong character live with energy and focus that is inspiring and contagious! Quite simply put, they dream about a brighter future and then they chase that dream until it comes true.
9. Powerful humility. Character doesn’t have to prove itself to anyone. People only brag or show-off when they feel insecure. Good character is our greatest security. The people with the greatest character rarely call attention to themselves. Instead, they live with powerful humility.
10. Don’t quit. The greatest lesson good character teaches us is to not quit, to keep going, even when we don’t feel like it. What does this look like? It looks like holding to our core values, even in the face of peer pressure, exercising when we’d rather not, and avoiding the things that make you a lesser-version-of-yourself, to focus on what truly matters most.
Ask your child to identify someone with good character they admire (a hero or a mentor). Identify the specific behaviors and attributes that embody good character in this person and teach your child to model after some of these attributes to build character.
The lesson of good character is a powerful one that impacts us in countless ways, each and every day. Teach your child the wisdom of good character.
Other Resources on this Topic: