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Character Qualities in Children-Truthfulness and Responsiblity

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Hopping to It: Character Qualities in Children-Truthfulness and Responsiblity

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Character Qualities in Children-Truthfulness and Responsiblity

I have been thinking a lot about what I want to see in my kids when they leave home.  What type of person are they going to be.  Obviously I want them to have a strong love for the Lord.   Each one of my children are in training for their future.  Training to be a citizen in our Country, training to be in the work force, training to be a husband or wife, or just to date respectfully.  Training to be a mom or dad.  Training to be a member of a church.  The list goes on.  Training comes every day regardless of whether they like it or not.

So I found a list of 49 defining character qualities.  I think it is a great list and am going to take 2-3 and discuss them.  I am going to take them in order that I think my kids need to hear.

The first one is Truthfulness vs. Deception.  Each child at different ages lie for different reasons.  Younger kids are learning what a lie is.  But the older ones, they know about lying and lie for many different reasons. Truthfulness--"Earning future trust by accurately reporting past facts."

When my children lie, I loss my ability to trust them for future things.  And then when they tell more little lies not thinking I know even makes me more mad.  Being deceitful losses privileges and trust.
My favorite lies...Isaiah did you get in the chocolate?, "nooo" Are you sure you didn't eat the chocolate? With a big chocolate smile "no mommy"  (Isaiah 2)

So when one of the older ones lies, I look for two things as we teach, train and discipline them as to my trust being restored.

  • 1-Do they feel bad for lying.  Is it tugging at their heart.  When kids feel that guilt or shame, or just feel bad you know that have grown a little.  Robby about 6 months ago hid my keys.  When I asked him where they are he said he didn't know.  I was really upset because I had to take the baby to the Doctors office and had to cancel.  Robby felt really bad and finally he told me had hid them but forgot where he put them.  Finally 5 hours later I found them.  He apologized many times that day.  

Which brings me to the second thing.

  • 2- They apologize.  When they sincerely apologize then I know that day they learned a lesson.  But when I don't see these things happening, then we need to step back.  It takes longer for me trust again, and feel like I can let them do all those special things in life that they want to do.

Why a child lies is a whole different blog.  But that they are learning that being truthful in life will get you farther than being deceitful is the key.  Ephesians 4:25 says "Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members on one body." (NIV)

The second trait is Responsibility vs. unreliability.  This is another big one in our house.  Being responsible for our things, our actions, and our  tasks given to us.  The kids are suppose to put their shoes on the self when they come in.  But daily I have the same conversation "go put your shoes on" I don't know where they are.  "Did you check the self?  "They are not there"  Have you looked everywhere.  "yes (normally in tears by now) they are not there.  Then they look up... this my favorite, I don't think they are on the ceiling!
The responsibility to do chores with out being told and to do them right the first time.  My 15 year has yet to grasp the responsibility of trash.  The chore is to collect trash and take to garbage can (this can almost be done daily in our house) and then on Tuesday nights take can down to street for pick up.  The trash in the kids bath room has been there for over 4 weeks, and trash only went down on a Tuesday evening when he wanted something.
My 8 year old has school responsibilities doing the day time and does not always get done what is assigned to him.  Not because he doesn't know how, he just chooses not to do it.
We are working hard on this issue.  My kids will have many responsibilities when they leave home so for now we keep training, molding and shaping responsibility in them.
Responsibility -knowing and doing what both God and others are expecting me to do.  "So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.  Romans 14:1 (NIV)

Stay tune for more character qualities coming your way.

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