To develop a radiant and noble character
- We radiate what we are
- What the child thinks about determines what the child is
- Inner peace and serenity from knowing you are doing right
- Absence of guilt and anxiety that accompany lesser choices
__ Ongoing, daily effort. __ Teach them they are the builders of their own character, that they have the responsibility to shape their own character. __ Explain the ends of the continuum (upright character . . . . . . . . . base character). Opposites. Yen and Yang. __ Adults (Parents, teachers, coaches) may guide, and may help with suggestions. The child chooses how they think and act. __ Adults praise the times when the child gains control of their emotions rather than focusing too much on tantrums or pouting. Starve the baser attempts for attention and reward the better behaviors. __ Help the child maintain good thoughts (critical task to the development of a good character because the intent that precedes the act leaves its indelible impression upon the character little by little). __ Because an upright character is the result of continued effort and right thinking, the effect of long-cherished associations with upright thoughts, how good are their consistent associations? __ Over time, the “little things” in our lives shape our character. How are the little things? ___ Teach by analogy the pattern of growth little-by-little.
The grass grows slowly, not all at once, full grown, by eruption. The rain does not fall in one big splash, but in many drops The planets do not jump in their orbits, but meter by meter, they circle their orbits. Habits and intellect do not appear suddenly, but grow bit by bit. The child grows physically by eating regularly at intervals, by breathing fresh air constantly, by resting at stated intervals Likewise, character is built by little things, by daily contacts, by an influence here, a fact or truth there. We do not build our character in large leaps, but from little actions, little thoughts, little-by-little.
__ Character is built by adherence to principles. This requires more than an occasional reference to one or another principle. There must be constant teaching, mostly by example. __ Law of the harvest: We reap what we sow.
- Effort, self-denial, and purposeful action are the stepping-stones of progress.
- Indulgence and ethical/moral wrongs are vandals and destroyers of character. Only regret and remorse follow in their wake.
__ When choices are present themselves, the child consistently chooses the right because it is right, even when the choice is hard. __ The adults encourage right choices. __ The child rejects the self-absorbed life in favor of developing a character worthy of respect and true greatness through service to those around them. __ Adults carry out their duty not to weaken the child’s growing character by avoiding overbearing adult behaviors that delay the child’s character development. __ Adults encourage the children to build good habits of thought and model such good habits of thought. __ The child can be trusted to do their best in age-appropriate assignments whether or not anyone is obviously watching. __ The child decides how they feel more often than allowing a sibling or friend “make” them feel upset. __ The child strives for personal integrity in every endeavor, regardless of how mundane or inconsequential it may seem. __ The child does not scapegoat others. The child takes responsibility for the decisions they have made and the outcomes that follow. __ Adults are the ethical standard bearer with the child. __ The child holds to their ethical values even when peers push to abandon them. __ The adult lets the child accompany and help in acts of service (taking dinner to a sick person, etc.) ___ The child describes the examples of adults around them.