Today will finish up our discussion on Character, however this is a core pillar of Legacy Dad and this is something that takes years to refine and develop.
First and foremost we have to expect our children to have Character in all things they do no matter how large or small.
My wife was writing a paper on parenting this week for a course she is taking and she wrote this "We do not tolerate any lying or any kind of hurtful or violent behavior."
We need to stop and take time to ensure that we are using everyday examples to teach Character.
Always tell the truth.
Never cheat others.
Be humble in victory and gracious in defeat.
Stand up for your beliefs.
Share when their is abundance.
These are just a few examples but our children also need to see us living these truths and also see what is important in our lives. I often tell people there are three things I would never negotiate on : My Faith, My Family and My Country.
I would lay it all on the line for these three beliefs and sometimes I actually do.
We also try to cultivate an environment of Character in our house. If a movie we are watching illustrates Character, we stop to discuss it. We read books like Character is Destiny that illustrate examples of Character in history.
I think it really comes down to letting our children see and hear through our personal example, our home environment and our life decisions that there are certain core beliefs and rules that are not crossed.
It all starts with us as parents putting the majority of our efforts into developing the inner traits of our children rather than the outer.
I see a lot of parents who focus a majority of their time on controlling the external environment of their children:
The school they go to
The movies they watch
The friends they have
The words they say
The appearance they have
Yet what happens when this environment is no longer present? The child often has nothing to fall back on and becomes lost.
Focusing however on their inner traits gives our children a baseline and no matter what the environment is, they will act with Character.
We also need to admit to our children when we are wrong and our children need to see us in moral situations where we make the right decision.
We often get compliments that are children are very secure, very honest and very courteous. This is by design and not chance because that is the example we strive to set and as my wife wrote, "we expect it as the standard not the exception."
Set the moral example, create an environment of character in the home, make Character the standard not the exception and I guarantee you will see the fruits just as we have.