There is more than one way to Teach a Character Trait

The longer I am a parent and I see the variety in my children’s personalities, weaknesses and strengths I am more and more aware that there is more than one way to do things. There is more than one way to teach, to motivate, to praise. There is more than one way to study, more than one valid subject to study. There is more than one way to serve God, to worship God, to study His word.

A month or so ago our family was having a time of review – looking back, looking forward type of thing. One of the areas that came up was the issue of order in our home. Of the five character traits we would like to be utmost in our lives, and in our home, order is the most lacking or at least the most pressing. We would like to see more order in our time and with our possessions.

So as we do, we grabbed the Character First charts and discussed order. If we want it in our life, we need to know what it is.

Orderliness is arranging myself and my surroundings
to achieve the greatest efficiency*.

We have studied this many times so I asked the kids to think of another character trait that would bring about the same result, or what was another character trait that would answer the reasons why we haven’t maintained order. After much discussion we came to the conclusion that it was a lack of dependability – we don’t do what we say we will do (in our home life). We don’t put things back where we say they belong. We don’t see our routines as a plan or commitment to ourselves – we are too flexible. So over the next little while we will be studying dependability in more depth.

Dependability is fulfilling what I consented to do,
even if it means unexpected sacrifice*.

There is more than one way to reach your child's heart. It is easy to get caught up teaching only a few common character traits but all traits work with each other to express our value system.

There is more than one way to address a Character issue

Can you think of something that you have been working on over and over and over and yet still not making any inroads? Maybe you need to change tack. Maybe you can ask the same question as I did – what is another character trait that would answer the reasons why we haven’t achieved?

With young children it is all too easy to make everything about obedience – and that is a key response we want from our children. But if we keep hammering that we may actually close down their hearts. Instead, we can focus on another response – maybe respect, or self-control, or enthusiasm.

If we are working on truthfulness – maybe we can pause and consider dependability, discretion or sincerity.

If we are working on responsibility – maybe we can refocus by looking at diligence, thoroughness, or endurance.

No one character based response stands by itself – they all support and blend in together.

I tell mums if they can’t figure out what to deal with focus on “Love one another” as it covers every interaction our kids have!! Even though that is true, we can start to sound like a cracked record and we justify it because the kids simply aren’t listening and they obviously need to!! This is wrong thinking on our behalf!

Remember the story of David, and how the prophet Nathan came to him and told him a story which cut to David’s heart. Nathan appealed to a value that David held – the virtue of fairness, justice, and what is right. Had Nathan come in with a story about adultery it is possible that David would have found every excuse under the sun not to hear it. There is more than one way to get to the heart of our kids.

There is more than one way to reach your child's heart. It is easy to get caught up teaching only a few common character traits but all traits work with each other to express our value system.

 Start thinking wider and deeper

So what are the issues that concern you about your heart, or about your kids’ heart today?

Ask God for wisdom.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God,
who gives generously to all without reproach,
and it will be given him.
James 1:5

I have been surprised to see a connection in the Hebrew between the words wisdom and creativity – God is a creative God, He will give you insight into the heart, answers that you may not expect – just as he did for Nathan.

There is more than one way to address heart issues – if only we are prepared to listen, and change tack!

*Character definitions taken from Character First

0 Comments

Any thoughts?

Further Reading:

Teaching our kids character is giving them heart-based life skills that will benefit them for their whole life.

How to Teach Character to your Kids: Teaching our kids character is giving them heart-based life skills that will benefit them for their whole life.

For us to be the best parents we can be we need to be a thinking parent. A parent who thinks about why, how and when.

Be a Thinking Parent:  For us to be the best parents we can be we need to be a thinking parent. A parent who thinks about why, how and when.

Is good character at the wrong time still good character? Parents need to understand what this looks like so they can be consistent in training their kids to do the right thing at the right time.

Is Good Character, at the Wrong Time, Still Good Character?  What does good character at the wrong time look like? Is it good enough?  Do our children need further training?

It is easy to get caught up teaching only a few common character traits but all traits work with each other to express our value system.

Throughout the week I share with other blogs – check out my Link ups and Party page

It is easy to get caught up teaching only a few common character traits but all traits work with each other to express our value system.

There is more than one way to reach your child's heart. It is easy to get caught up teaching only a few common character traits but all traits work with each other to express our value system.

Be Intentional

 Every week I'll email an encouragement to stay intentional and relational in all your family life.  But for now, download your set of reminder posters - posters which I've used over the years to remind me to keep my eyes and heart on what is important.

Thank you for joining me. You have successfully subscribed and will receive an email from me shortly. (You never know which folder emails will land in so keep an eye out for my "Thank you" email.) Stay in touch... Belinda - Live life with your Kids!

Download your worksheet and start working on your family vision statement.

Get the Family Vision Worksheet

I will email you the download link.

The download link is on it's way.

Individual Education Planning Worksheets - brainstorming every area of your child's life.

Get your Planning Worksheets

I will email you the download link so you can start looking at all the different spheres of your child's life before you make any curriculum choices. 

The download link is on it's way.

Get a copy of the Jelly Bean Story

I will email you a download link.  You can print and share this story with your kids and their friends.

The download link is on it's way.

This parent guide helps parents plan family bible study and use discussion techniques to teach the important lessons.

Bible study Guide for Parents

Guide includes tips, planning worksheet, and discussion prompts. I will email you a download link.  

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Obedience looks a bit different as our kids grow older. Download this parent/teen discussion guide to understand this issue of obedience in teen years.

Download your Free Discussion Guide

Don't assume your kids are rebelling - instead talk to them about what Obedience looks like now they are older.  I will email you a download link.  

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Download yourCharacter Certificates

Though true character is driven by internal motivation, our children will appreciate when we see that they are growing in character.

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Download your Character Certificates

Though true character is driven by internal motivation, our children will appreciate when we see that they are growing in character.

The download link is on it's way.

Over 20 different verbal expressions divided into heart or self control to help parents discern these behaviours.

Download your Cheat Sheet

I will send you the link to download this cheat sheet that will help you discern between a heart attitude and a lack of skill.

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

I will email you the download link.

The download link is on it's way.

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

You will receive an email shortly with the details. Watch your inbox.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Download Parenting Poster

Download Parenting Poster

Learn to respond to your child in a way that changes their heart.

 

I will email you the download link.

The download link is on it's way.

Download Parenting Poster

Download Parenting Poster

 

Learn to respond to your child in a way that changes their heart.

 

I will email you the download link.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Our children hear different words when we react to when we respond. Do your children hear blah blah blah when you correct them? Includes a parenting poster.

Download Parenting Poster

 

When we Respond instead of React we find a way to deal with the heart not just behaviour.

 

I will email you the download link.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Free email course -

6 days straight to your inbox!

 

 

Plan a Christmas that touches the heart of your family.

Thank you for being here - you will receive an email shortly.

Download Character Lesson Guide

You will receive an email shortly with the details. Watch your inbox.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Pin It on Pinterest