Teaching Character

Over the past few days, I’ve been pouring over my new resources and thinking about direction.  I’ve been watching my child as I try out new things with him.  In the meantime, I came across this article from Homeschool Village on FB about Preschool Giftedness.  I have to admit when I saw the title I winced a little.  I don’t want to label my child as anything aside from “wonderful son”, but he is falling into their definition of giftedness: catching on quickly to all things academic.  So, I read on.

I was expecting some direction on how to keep these children challenged, but what I read was something that I found surprising.  Their perspective is that, because these children naturally excel at academics, there really is no need to focus on them.  They will be drawn to learning without any push from me.  What is worthwhile to teach them is: good character.  Because they’re likely to outsmart you sooner than you’d hope, parents of older gifted children agree that they wish they’d spent more time developing their child’s character at a young age.

Character development?!?!  Again, my mind reels and wonders, “WHAT DO I DO WITH THAT?” where a three-year old is concerned.  Self-control, discipline, respect, kindness, love, caring, compassion, responsibility, cooperation and dependability all come to mind.  Those are all big, heavy words – even for me at times.  They are all things that I want for my child – and more.  I know that if I expect him to learn them, then I must strive to be those things and openly communicate about them as well.

One thing I realize is that character development will certainly not be fully taught within the bubble of our home.  Yes, you can read it in a book.  Yes, you can have a great conversation about them.  However, the true test of character comes through social interaction and relational challenges.  I’ll definitely need to be getting my (fairly big now) pregnant self out of this house a bit more.

How do you teach morals and good character to your child?

I woke yesterday to find Carter at the couch making words.