Everyone admires and respects people with character and it’s not because they have talent, skill, good looks, fame or popularity. It’s because they have an extra special something that we all think is really important. We call that character.

People with character have two basic qualities. They usually do the right thing and, in most situations, they do what needs to be done.

This week’s Facts For Fathers, Kids We Can Count On shares tips on how dads can help their children build character.

Fathers can help build character in children by doing many things:

    • Setting a good example of the ways you expect your children to act.
    • Developing close relationships with your children.
    • Working at keeping those relationships respectful, caring, and loving.
    • Being a positive influence in your children’s life.
    • Supporting your children’s healthy development.
    • Guiding children as they learn right from wrong.
    • Using teachable moments to help children learn from mistakes.
    • Allowing children to overcome challenges and to solve some of their problems on their own.
    • Show appreciation to your children when you see them doing something that shows good character.
    • Teaching your children the building blocks of character – things like honesty, caring, kindness, patience, and joyfulness.

Building Blocks of Character

Self control Children must have some ability to control themselves before they can start learning to make good decisions about how to behave in various situations.

Conscience – Children need to be able to understand when you think they have done something wrong before they can figure it out on their own.

Empathy – Children need to learn to understand how other people feel and how their actions affect others.

Teachable moments – These are situations you can use to teach little lessons about the relationship between behaviour and consequences.

Making choices – Children can be given opportunities to make choices on small things that you are able to live with.

Independence – Allowing children to do things for themselves that they are able to handle.

Positive Discipline – Gradually helping children learn how to act when no one is there to tell them what to do.

Patient guidance from Dad – Character develops slowly over our lifetime. Children need you to guide them with patience and caring

Doing the right thing is about behaving morally – knowing the difference between right and wrong and choosing to do right. But not every good human act involves a moral choice. Sometimes character is about looking at a situation, seeing what needs to be done and doing it. People with character do what’s right and what’s necessary even when it’s difficult, inconvenient or unpleasant – when it would be easier to walk away and leave it to someone else.

If you know anyone who could use encouragement or would enjoy this information, please share our blog with them. The Kids We Can Count On “Fact Marks for Fathers” resource can be downloaded here, or a hard copy can be purchased in our store.