Everyday Tips for Building Your Child's Character

July 15, 2011 // Franchising.com // Instilling a strong sense of right and wrong in children is just as important as teaching them how to read and write. This plays a role in their interaction with other children and how they will behave in social and classroom settings. Even with an emphasis on character building, recent news stories confirm many children continue to get picked on and bullied by their peers.

"Bullying is often about power and control of another person," says Leslie Coleman, director of training for Kiddie Academy, a national child care and education franchisor. "If you allow your child to have some control by giving him or her choices, it will help lessen their desire to seek control or power by manipulating another child."

Parents can use everyday occurrences as teachable moments to instill positive values in their children, Coleman says. "It is never too early to start teaching lessons on right and wrong. Even infants - understand when language like 'gentle hands' or 'biting hurts' is used."

Kiddie Academy uses a Character Education Program as part of their curriculum in which they focus on a different character trait each month. Below are a few of the key character traits that Coleman recommends parents tie into activities and learning opportunities:

  • Cooperation: Find activities that you and your child can do together, such as working cleaning up your child's bedroom. This will give them a sense of support and how to work effectively with others.
  • Self-Reliance: Allow your child to make some decisions on their own, such as choosing what color shirt they want to wear.
  • Compassion: Use real-life situations to teach them as something happens. For example, if your child pushes someone down, help them recognize that the right thing to do is then help them up.
  • Patience: Use everyday activities such as waiting in line as a way to convey the importance of patience.
  • Respect & Tolerance: Teach your child about diversity by talking to them about the many different types of people on this Earth. Remind them that people's differences are what makes life interesting and no matter how different someone is, they should always treat everyone with equal respect.
  • Responsibility: Give your child small tasks to do each day to foster a sense of responsibility, such as making their bed or carrying dirty dishes to the sink. Giving your child some responsibility is an important step in the development of their self-confidence and decision-making skills.
  • Humor: Use social situations to teach your child about laughing when there is a funny story or joke, but not at another person.

For more education and parenting tips, sign up for the Parenting Essentials newsletter at www.kiddieacademy.com/newsletter

About Kiddie Academy®

For more than 29 years, Kiddie Academy® has been a leader in education-based child care. The company serves families and their children ages 6 weeks to 12 years old, offering full time care, before- and after-school care and summer camp programs. Kiddie Academy's proprietary Life Essentials® curriculum, supporting programs, methods, activities and techniques help prepare children for life. Kiddie Academy is accredited by AdvancEd, signifying its commitment to quality education and the highest standards in child care. For more information, visit www.kiddieacademy.com.

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