What a theme we have this week! Character Development - we all want our children to be upstanding citizens of the world, to contribute, to put other's before them and to be happy. So, how do we teach Character Development? We can model the behavior and hope that they catch one, we can role play, or we can just talk them through situations that are hard for them as they arise.
WOW! Someone else is concerned with how our children develop character. This photo shows a game that the children could play. If you look closely, there are mangos clothes pinned to the tree. The children had to unpin a mango and then pick a character trait. Once a trait was selected, your child had to tell the booth attendants one thing they would do to model that trait. C, who is going to be 3 soon grabbed a mango right away and pointed to the kindness trait. We asked him how he could be kind - of course he gave us a blank look. Sheesh! So, when rephrased it question in toddler terms, of "How can you nice to the cat?" He promptly stated to "bring him a raton(mouse)". That's my boy! Of course after we all finished laughing, he got to pick a prize and was so super happy. A who is 17 days away from being 9(!!!), picked self control from their list and stated that we can wait to buy something if we really don't need it. Very proud of her for that one, and she managed to come home from Mango Melee without spending that $20 she had in her pocket.
I loved this game because the child got to pick their virtue and state what we could do. The only prompting that the adult has to do is ask the very open ended question. There are really no wrong answers, and hopefully by doing this when your child is presented with a problem that calls for character they will know what they should do.
If you don't want to create this game, you can bake cookies for your elderly neighbor, drop by a homemade card to someone who is sick, or just buy that bum on the street a sandwich. All of those are ways to model good character to your kids. Yes, it's hard and yes you will embarrass your older children when you hand food to that bum, but if you explain to them why you are doing it, they may learn compassion and see the world through different eyes and start to become the person you want them to be.
We read and enjoyed "Good Habits to Have" by Jenny and Karen Carter today too, if you haven't read it yet, give it a go. the message is simple and sweet.
Don't forget to read - join the Readathon at MeMeTales - it's been fun for us and hopefully will be just as fun for you!