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Little Things Matter – Demonstrating character while parenting

Karen Jarczyk, Prevention Director

January 24, 2017

As parents we measure success in many ways. Did my daughter make the team? Does my son have friends? How did my child score on that last test?

These are easy to assess, more so than our children’s character. We can help our children with homework, practice their sport with them for endless hours, and model good social skills, but how do we help them develop strong character … an important factor in future success?

Raising kids is such a hands-on full-time job that we might forget they are paying attention. Our smallest, daily actions sometimes create a larger impact than our words, over time. We probably already are doing many little acts of helpfulness that model traits and behaviors worthy of contagion. Have you ever shared extra food with a neighbor? Have you kindly pitched in on a coworker’s project when they were overwhelmed, and without need for reciprocation, or fanfare? These humble acts are seen in most adults, and in most teens. They are worthy topics of conversation.  We can notice small and large actions that demonstrate character (doing kind things or showing restraint) and make a point to talk about them with our families.

The January Power of Choice newsletter focusing on building strength of character provides tips in this important area which many believe is critical to an adolescent’s future success. Parents can read more online here.

Often overlooked in raising children is monitoring and providing guidance regarding the various places online where adolescents can and do express themselves. These posts can be colorful and designed to attract admiration of youth. Parents can also find guidelines for their teens regarding posting and useful tips for demonstrating character online at this month’s Power of Choice newsletter. 

Sometimes all it takes is for our teens to pause a few hours, or days, to prevent words from being shared with the larger world that sound like anything other than the amazing person they are.

Download a PDF of this blog post here.

Posted in 360 Youth Services Blog