We were in the Stuffmart parking lot one day, and a lady was unloading a cart full of bags into her trunk while her teenage daughter stood there chatting. Next to them, a family finished loading up their mini van, and then accidentally backed into the cart rack directly behind them. The husband got out to assess any damage, while the aforementioned teenager stood laughing at them. The teen’s mom, tried to hide her smirk as she and her daughter climbed into their car. Once their doors were shut, they quickly backed out and drove away. The flustered man returned to the apparently undamaged van, and they departed.
The above is a sad story. Yes, it’s unfortunate that the driver of the mini van hit the cart rack, but that portion of the story is not what is saddening. It’s obvious that the mother of the teenager failed to teach conscious character to her child, and seemingly lacked it herself.
“The character of our children is the leading indicator of the future of our country.” ― Senator Dan Coats
God expects us to train our children in the way they should go, and a wise parent will include character development in that training. A wise person will give attention to it in their own lives.
We all influence others. An example of one exhibiting honorable traits on a regular basis is a beneficial influence.
Character First is a marvelous resource. We currently use Series 1 of the Elementary Teacher’s Guide Kit as one of our homeschool classes. (They also have an secondary level for older children.) It covers attentiveness, obedience, truthfulness, gratefulness, generosity, orderliness, forgiveness, sincerity, and virtue. We are covering one trait per month. Additional traits are highlighted in the other three series.
My sister-in-law is my homeschooling mentor, and when I first began teaching my children she shared a gem of truth with me. She said if you teach your children to obey first, then they will be much more receptive to learning academics. I started teaching them from the Obedience Guide when they were preschoolers and simplified the material, since it’s intended for ages 6-12. My kids love the stories, games and crafts. As you can see, this kit is lasting us several years. That’s money well spent!
My children aren’t the only ones benefiting from this material; I’m soaking it in, too. For example, when we were focusing on attentiveness, the lesson taught that to be attentive one should look the person speaking in the eye. Being a multi-tasker, I noticed that I didn’t always do that. We are by no means perfect, but one day I hope that my sons will look at a women’s character before choosing a spouse and that they will be men of admirable character as well.
How do you implement character traits in your life? What do you use to teach character to your family?Disclaimer: I receive no compensation should you decide to click the links above. I simply believe it’s a great product. Image via Creative Commons: John Michlig