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Growing Kids of Character
by Ellie Dixon

We hear a lot today about falling moral standards, lack of respect for others and the culture of “self first.” But our society doesn’t have to be like this, and there is a growing movement to reverse these trends through Character Education. This is not a "quick fix." It provides long-term solutions that address moral, ethical, and academic issues that are of growing concern to us all.

Character education is the fostering of ethical, responsible, and caring young people by modeling and teaching good character through emphasis on universal values that we all share such as caring, honesty, fairness, responsibility, and respect for self and others.

Good character is not formed automatically; rather it is developed over time through a sustained process of teaching, example, learning, and practice –that is character education. Teaching good character is particularly important today as our youngsters many opportunities and dangers unknown to their parents and grandparents. They are bombarded with many more negative influences through the media and other external sources prevalent in today’s culture.

Parents are of course the first, and most important moral educators of their character. But as the pressures of balancing work and home life impact upon the time that families spend together it’s more important than ever that caring parents feel confident to deal with moral issues, and that they have the right tools to help them do so in a fun way. We all know that kids can have a short attention span, and certainly prefer fun activities to being lectured in a serious, and, dare I say – boring fashion!

Schools also play a vital role in nurturing and developing children of good character, through their character education programs. But it’s vital that these messages are reinforced at home – after all children learn by copying others, so if they realize that good character is important to their parents, they’re more likely to place great importance upon it themselves.

A person of character ….

• A “good” person – someone that kids will look up to, admire and try to imitate.

• Knows the difference between right and wrong and always tries to do the right thing, even if it’s difficult.

• Sets a good example

• Tries to make the world a better place.

• Is honest, trustworthy, reliable and caring.

Sounds tough, but educating the heart is just as important as educating the mind. It’s important that you have the right tools and materials – books, games, activities, audio are all important ways of communicating with your kids, offering various routes to forming Kids of Character.

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About the Author

Ellie Dixon is a "proud Mom" who lives in deepest rural Devon, England with her husband and two very large Newfoundland dogs. She is passionate about vintage illustrated children's books and loves to restore and edit them for today's kids to rediscover.

Visit Kids of Character", a unique range of beautiful illustrated books and fun activities all designed to help parents grow responsible, trustworthy kids of good character, or for even more great books visit Scruffy's Bookshop, Ellie's main website.

(NOTE: Referral to Web sites not produced by the Caton Family is for informational purposes only, and does not necessarily constitute an endorsement of the sites' content.)

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