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Parenting Tips ~ 3 Key Questions for Building Character in Kids

By Jean Tracy, MSS

Would you like to raise happy kids who become well-adjusted adults? Did you know there are three key questions to help you do just that? Let's find out those questions and how they develop reason and free will.

Parenting Tips – Teaching Your Kids to Use Their Reason

If you're a believer in the power of reason and free will, you'll want to help your kids develop both. Here are some ways to promote the use of reason in your kids:

  • Help them understand others' thoughts and feelings. Help them understand the kid who's never chosen to be on a team, the overweight child who is teased, or the kid who doesn't know how to make friends.
  • Help them understand the difference between right and wrong by realizing that not all behaviors are okay. For example, hurting others with sarcasm is wrong while speaking to others with respect is right.
  • Help them to reason logically by thinking through difficult situations and coming up with good solutions. It might mean facing up to breaking an expensive vase and paying for it through chores, rather than lying.

Parenting Tips – Teaching Your Kids to Use Their Free Will Wisely

Some people don't believe in free will. My husband, Jim, recalls a class in graduate school when his professor announced, "There is no such thing as free will." Jim didn't win any points when he asked, "You mean you had no choice between teaching this class and staying home?" Here are some ways to promote free will:

  • Help your children realize that there are always choices.
  • Help them think through different choices.
  • Help them choose the best choice.

Parenting Tips – How to Open Your Child's Character with Three Key Questions:

"What do you think?" "How would you feel?" "What would you do?"
  • When your child tells you about student who was humiliated in class ask, "What do you think?" "How would you feel?" "What would you do?"
  • When your child tells you about a bully who picked on a younger kid ask, "What do you think?" "How would you feel?" "What would you do?"
  • When your child tells you that a friend stole candy from the store ask, "What do you think?" "How would you feel?" "What would you do?"

Why not encourage your children to reason morally and choose wisely? By starting with the three key questions, "What do you think?" "How would you feel?" "What would you do?" you'll be opening the door to your child's character and a happy well-adjusted life.

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