Building Character, Potential, and Flexable Thinking in Kids
If you'd like to build character in your kids and develop their potential too, keep reading. Our parenting expert, Kendra Delano, has taught children to think flexibly and positively, communicate effectively, overcome adversity, and make great choices throughout her 17 year career as an international educator. Let's listen to her advice.
Top 10 Tips for Developing Character, Potential, and Flexible Thinking:
First ~Teach Your Children to Observe:
Whenever someone enters a new setting, he or she should learn to watch how the people are behaving before making any attempt to interact. Are they having quiet or boisterous conversations? Are there children running around or are most people sitting down? This is the most important element in learning to adapt to a new environment.
Second ~ Venture Out ~ Travel:
You don’t have to leave the country. If you live in the suburbs go into a rural area or the city. Most urban areas have ethnic sections such as China Town, Greek Town, etc. Realize that the first people to approach you are usually in some form of sales and marketing. Quietly walk on. After that soak in every flavor, sound and interaction!
Third ~ Encourage Reading: Children learn vicariously from strong characters. Authors usually plant valuable insights and lessons into their stories. Voracious readers tend to be wise people.
Fourth: Show Children that You Withhold Judgment:
Avoid labeling any person or situation as good or bad. I have an example. A friend’s teenage daughter was telling about a girl with a poor reputation. I asked WHY she thought that girl went with so many different boys. After a pause she replied, “Because her dad left home a long time ago. She doesn’t see him so maybe she needs more attention from boys.” Bingo. Encourage children to understand and think below the surface.
Fifth ~ Never Confuse a Child’s Behavior with Their Worth:
I NEVER use the expression, “You are a bad boy or girl.” It hurts me just to write it. Everyone is valuable and intrinsically good. There are only good people who CHOOSE to behave badly. Behaviors can be modified.
Sixth ~ Encourage Children to Label Their Feelings (develop self-awareness):
Stick to the basic ones: mad, sad, glad, hurt, ashamed, afraid, and lonely.
Seventh ~ Keep a Journal:
In addition to making diary entries have children label the choices they make each day and the outcomes of those choices. Encourage children to find a correlation between the words and behaviors chosen and how their days are unfolding.
Eighth ~ Encourage Children to Consider New Possibilities:
As a teacher I used to read the story of Chicken Little to my first graders. After the story I asked, “How is Chicken Little the same as a child who shouts, “He stole my pencil!?” I asked the children to brainstorm how a pencil could have found its way into a classmate’s desk. They answered that it could have fallen on the floor and been picked up, that it could have rolled over to the desk, that the same brand of pencil could have been purchased by two different students, etc.
Ninth ~ Encourage Children to Problem Solve:
So many well-intentioned parents jump in to solve their children’s problems. Wait. See how resourceful and ingenious your child can be. Remember the person who tried to help a butterfly break out of its cocoon. The butterfly died because it needed to do the work itself!
Tenth ~ Show Your Children That You Sometimes Change Your Mind:
Show them that after considering new information you have changed your position. Wise people take their time in making a decision and are never afraid to admit they were wrong.
Connect with Kendra and get her book, 'Showtime' at: www.SameDayDifferentChoices.com
Let's give Kendra a GRATEFUL HAND for her outstanding tips. She has the knowledge and the ability to communicate well.
How Discussions, Quotes, and Compliments Build Character in Kids
Parents, it's your turn to take the stage:
What are your opinions about this blog post or your suggestions for helping your kids? Please answer in the comment link below.
With warm wishes,
Jean Tracy, MSS
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