“Come on boys, get cleaned up. I’m taking you for ice cream.”
My brother and I looked at each other in total disbelief. We ran down to the house faster than we ever had before. “Really? Why?” we asked our dad.
“Your mom just told me that the two of you have behaved all day. I’m proud of you.”
I don’t remember what I ordered, or what we even talked about while eating our ice cream. I don’t remember what clothes we had on or what vehicle we went in. I do remember vividly my dad saying, “I’m proud of you.” And, I remember the reason for the reward.
Parenting is a balancing act. And, it’s a tough job.
Let’s say you walk into the living room after hearing a large crash. You discover your two kids standing there unhurt with a broken lamp on the floor beside them. “What happened?” you ask. Now, your kids have a choice; lie or tell the truth.
“An alien came through the window and smashed the lamp.” or
“We knocked it over and it broke.”
Let’s say your kids tell the truth about knocking it over. So you ask, “How did it get knocked over?”
“We were tossing the ball back and forth.” they reply.
“You know you’re not suppose to be doing that, go to your room.”
Now, let’s fast forward a week. You discover your kids have done something else they knew they shouldn’t have. You ask…”what happened?” At some point, your kids are going to lie to you. Why? They don’t want to get in trouble. That’s just human nature.
But, let’s go back a week to the broken lamp. What if your reply had been something like this.
“How many times have I told you you aren’t suppose to be playing ball in the house? You are going to be punished for this. But, I also want you to know I’m proud of you for telling the truth. Telling the truth is what’s most important here. It doesn’t get you off the hock, but it does help it so your punishment won’t be as bad.”
Now, kids being kids and all…the next time they may still lie. But, they have a much greater chance of telling the truth. Especially if you repeatedly point out the times they tell the truth. After all, what gets repeated gets remembered. And, what get’s reward gets repeated.
But parenting is tough, it’s hard to always remember to highlight the positive. Especially when you are tired or upset that your kids did something they knew they shouldn’t have. What if you had a visual reminder…for you and for them.
What’s hanging on your walls or fridge right now? Are they things you are proud of? Probably. What about your kids artwork, trophies or awards? I want to introduce you to a new tool to display your kid’s positive character decisions.
The Character Growth Chart.
Let’s return to the above broken lamp example for just a moment.
“How many times have I told you you aren’t suppose to be playing ball in the house? You are going to be punished for this. But, I also want you to know I’m proud of you for telling the truth. Telling the truth is what’s most important here. It doesn’t get you off the hock, but does help it so your punishment won’t be as bad. In fact, come here a second.” You and your kids go to the Character Growth Chart. You have them stand with their back against it, mark their height and write something like this…. “Rilee told the truth when she broke a lamp.”
WOW, what a powerful moment this could be for your kids. You can’t…and probably shouldn’t….give ice cream every time thy tell the truth. You probable won’t use the Character Growth Chart every time they display a character trait you want to reinforce. But the times you do use it, will be a big moment for your kids. Plus, when people come over to your place and see the accomplishments displayed, you and they can brag on your kids a bit. Another reinforcement of a positive choice.
Why is this important for your family? You are trying to instill character over anything else in your kids. After all, your kids character will determine the decisions they make when you aren’t with them. (tweet that)
If you want this powerful tool to use with your kids or grandkids, you can order one of the handmade Character Growth Charts for only $65 (includes shipping and tax). $65 for a tool to impact the lives of your kids forever. Click Here for our secure order form, or ask questions in the comments.
- What do you think about the idea of a Character Growth Chart?
- What do you do to help build your kid’s character?
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