Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Teaching Character in the Home -- Step 1: Identifying

Character is the inward motivation to do the right thing, no matter what the cost.  It is how we respond to a situation even when no one is watching.  Character is who we are when we don't get what we want or what we think we deserve.  It is what we are at the core.

Strong character was once the backbone of America.  Its largescale absence is part of why we see our nation crumbling today, with everyone "doing what is right in his own eyes."  It is becoming increasingly rare to meet a person with true character.

The first step in teaching our children character is to identify the character qualities we want them to exhibit. Fortunately, you don't have to start from scratch -- this work has already been done for you!

Nearly twenty years ago, I started with a list of 49 character qualities and their operational definitions from Bill Gothard of The Instititute for Basic Life Principles. I used this list to begin to teach my children (and myself!) character. You can obtain that same list of 49 character qualities with helpful definitions here.

I encourage you to begin to memorize these character qualities and their definitions as you require your children to do the same.  One of the easiest ways to do that is by using my favorite book for teaching character -- Achieving True Success: How to Build Character As a Family.  This beautifully illustrated book devotes one page to each character quality and includes a concise but insightful definition, a description of how the quality is exhibited in nature, a list of the rewards for demonstrating that quality, tips for showing the character quality in the home, and my favorite part, a short list of "I wills" that teach you exactly what that character quality looks like in action.  This book is invaluable in helping you identify the character you want to instill in your children, and will also aid you in modeling godly character yourself, which is what I plan to discuss in tomorrow's post.


MOMSWEB said...

Character First! I have that book and I've also attended the school in Oklahoma! Life changing for myself and my family.

Samantha said...

Thanks for the link!

Rebecca's Refining said...

Love the picture! :)
Great post! I have a feeling I am not going to enjoy this series very is too painful! :) But, very needy....not just in my personal life, but across the nation!

I have that book...thanks to you! I haven't looked at it in a very long fact it is packed away in a bucket of books in my basement. I will have to dig it out and re-read it with a renewed vision and determination, and attempt to make a difference in the lives of my children/family before it is too late. As I have been reminding my children lately, we must all give an account to God .... I don't want to stand before Him ashamed of how I have used my time and life!

Devina said...

There is a wonderful PDF version of these same character traits on the Duggar website.

busymomof10 said...

Thanks Devina! That is good to know!

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