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As our children get older little by little they become less and less dependent on their parents. As they get more independent they spend more hours outside of their home environment; including school, extra curricular activities, spending time with their friends, etc. While we hope we have taught our children to do the right thing when a variety of situations are presented to them it doesn’t always work in our favor.
You can take preventative measures to make sure your child does the right thing both in your presence and when you’re not around.
WORDS OF CAUTION: While you are teaching your youngsters to “Do the Right Thing Efor other people, I urge you to stress to your children not to help a neighbor or stranger who they don’t know (not to help any grown-up without the consent and knowledge of their parents). This can only get your children intoextremely dangerous situations. See the article “Teach Your Children How to Be Aware of Stranger Danger E
Talk to your child about what it means to do the right thing and provide examples of situations in which to do the right thing. Offering help to mommy and daddy working around the house is doing the right thing, picking up your toys as soon as you’ve finished playing with them is doing the right thing, being kind to others, picking something up if someone drops something, turning in a lost purse or wallet (even if it has money in it) is doing the right thing.
Main points to address:
As always guide them instead of forcing your opinion on your child, encourage and guide. “I am so proud to know that you would help that person with their schoolwork, that’s doing the right thing right there.”
You are exemplifying someone doing the right thing constantly, be sure to not get overly upset when someone cuts you off on the road, or get too anxious when the line at the grocery store is taking to long, use that time to talk to your child. In fact, if you have a cart full and the guy behind you has only a handful of things let him go before you. Use every opportunity you have to show your child how someone can do the right thing.
Main points to address:
Allow everyday situations to become the grounds for talking to your child and teaching them about using good judgment. Allow them to talk to you about their friends and the things they might have done in school that your child was upset about. “Amanda borrowed my pencil and she never gave it back. E“Jane said she didn’t want to be Angie’s friend, and that made me really mad.”
These might seem like tiny issues to you, but they are major to your child and can be great tools to use for backing up your values of doing the right thing. “You might be upset about the pencil, but there might be something else going on in her life that we don’t know about. Although you know that if you borrow something the right thing to do is give it back right away, I think we should just get you another pencil so you’re not so worried about that one.”
Posted in Character.