Patience: teaching children

word of month character

All of us appreciate it when other show us patience when we are struggling with our schedule or learning something new.  We know how frustrated we feel and all the reasons why we cannot accomplish what we wish and we are thankful when others put up with our circumstances even if it inconviences them for a small period of time.

Patience many times is another facet of empathy, putting ourselves in the shoes of another.  Teaching our children about patience can begin with taking turns playing a game, waiting in line at the grocery store, waiting to speak to an adult, or even if we must wait for an older person or disabled person to complete a task.

Helping our children to understand that “waiting without complaining” is what we do when we are showing patience, and that this is a great character trait.  Not showing patience can make the other person feel in the way, not important, or as if they are not being treated fairly.  While patience can be a challenge for us in our busy lives, it can also have great rewards, especially in having faith in ourselves and our ability to wait for something we really want or do.

Trustworthiness: not cheating or stealing

word of month character

Being trustworthy is one of those qualities that we expect and want in our children.  As a parent we want our children to do what is right, to tell the truth and to be fair by not cheating or stealing.  Due to the busy schedule everyone has today though, we sometimes overlook the idea of deliberately teaching the virtues that we would like to see in our child.
If we wait to discuss with our children the character trait that leads to not cheating or stealing until there is an incident, we will find that the emotions are too high to make any inroads on that subject.   It is the reason that we at Balanced Life Skills are committed to discussing these with our students when there are no obvious reason to do so.
Cheating and stealing is what we will be discussing this week and the affect it has on our ability to be trusted by others.  As many times in the past, we will be emphasizing that the consequence of cheating or stealing is the loss of trust and we practice trustworthiness because it is the right thing to do.
This would be a great time for parents to tie into our discussions at home by asking your child what they would do if they saw one of their friends cheating in a game, or copying off of someone’s paper.  Or what would they do if they saw someone taking something that did not belong to them?  These type of short conversations where we listen deeply and express our family’s belief on this subject will have a great impact on their conduct later in their life.

Creativity & children

word of month character

This morning when I woke up and went to the kitchen I found this note for me from my youngest son, Sean. (20)
Dad,
I believe creativity is not a character trait some are born with while other’s not, but a fundamental quality of the human condition; and as such, deserves to be developed alongside all other qualities distinguishing humans as human. You taught me how to think for myself, the most important lesson on creativity I could’ve asked for, which is why I bought this book for you: because every little action towards a more creative life is a part of the grander evolution towards a more fulfilling one. So happy birthday, and let’s keep digging at this archaeological site called life.
Love,
Sean
The book was ‘How to Think like Leonardo da Vinci’. I cannot wait to read this, as Sean is a very creative person, and I am interested in this subject from the standpoint that I believe we have a responsibility to allow our kids to be creative and more important to think for themselves. This thought of a ‘self directed’ child is very interesting to me and I hope to develop some conversation here about helping our child to to do this for themselves. Any thoughts or comments?
By the way today is my birthday, Mr. Joe (54)