Strengthening character in children

Modeling positive behaviors for children.

When issues arise often it comes in form of dispute between parents or caregivers trying to resolve a conflict or concern, often this occurs in the presence of children. Shooing children away is often first thought, this is where we begin to influence their understanding of how to handle conflict resolution. 

Let’s consider expressing to the child(ren) at their level of understanding what the outcome is being sought. For example perhaps Mom is contemplating Nana moving from her home and joining the family’s household,  Dad feels it’ll create more disruption in the home since room would have to be made in order for that to happen. 

If the children are teens this may give an opportunity for them to participate in the discussion, perhaps allowing them to throw ideas into the conversation may give voice where it has been dismissed. When involving young adults into life changing decisions it often provides an opportunity for growth  in their character building and ability to express empathy of others. 

Young children may shy away from the adult issues due to the change in tone of voices and body language, in these cases slowly ask questions that are developmentally appropriate. Example: Nana may be joining us here, how do you feel about that? Where do you think Nana would like to place her bed and things? If Nana decides to stay we’ll have to keep things a bit tidier so there aren’t any toys here or there, how could they help with that? Keep it simple for young children, decision still remains with the adults.

Modeling ways to manage emotions of self and with others will influence how children express themselves in certain situations. Give honor to their voices and remember changes within the home affects everyone under the roof. 

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