Once upon a time I taught preschool in an actual classroom! One morning one of my students came into the classroom in a disruptive mood, put himself under a table in the back of the classroom. I went back to him and said, "Giovanni, how can Ms. Joni help you to behave better in our classroom?" His response was the simplest explanation and took me back. He said, "teach me"
I had a conference with his parents and we came up with a behavior chart, a reward chart and discussed what it means to have good behavior. So many times we become engrossed in something and take for granted that a child knows how to behave, what it means or what is expected of them.
As parents, it's vital to be on the same page. Discuss with your partner your expectations for your children, try not to play 'Good Cop v s. Bad Cop' because this divides the child. A child looks up to you, trusts you and most likely wants to be like you. When you show your children team work and have open communications in your family unit, this builds respect and trust which builds a strong foundation. For an example, when our boys were little, my husband thought it would be fine for the boys to use the outdoors as a bathroom. I disagreed! Call me a prude, not that they didn't get to experience that freedom as a little boy, but, I didn't think it was a healthy habit for all times. So, we discussed when they could, like when we were camping, but, once we were back into 'civilization' they were to use the indoor facilities!!
Once you've agreed on what it looks like to have good behavior, go ahead and discuss it with your children. Perhaps make a visual chart of what good behavior looks like using old magazines or newspapers let your children tear out pictures of children with good behavior. Find pictures of children having good behavior at a restaurant, at school, playing a team sport, talking with siblings, etc. This will help your children understand the words you use. This worked well in our classroom, too!
Below are some simple activities you can do with your children to help reinforce good behaviors with Behavior Bear. I always learned better through an activity, I'm not much of a reader, I'd rather do an activity, get my hands dirty and wrap them around the physical word in order for me to internalize the meaning. Your children may be the same or different. Read to them, allow them to read books on a topic, make it a habit to discuss the topic with your children, let them write about it or draw about it or talk about it and this will build their knowledge of the topic, trust in your co-operation and help form better communication skills, too. Now, I'm not pretending to be an expert on any topic, but, I do know that these characters make a difference, they are relatable and they even earned an award! Go ahead and make a puppet, a headband, a poster and more, let Behavior Bear come through your door!
Another tip I'd like to share is to print out Behavior Bear, write your child's name on the pencil. I like to print it out on card stock. There is a black and white one on Behavior Bear's page online for your child to color, personalize it! I actually have a small laminator and have laminated the characters, not necessary. Now, put this character on a key chain, a zipper, a Popsicle stick, etc. Take Behavior Bear with you wherever you may roam to reinforce this good behavior in and out of your home!
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Your GRATITUDE creates a better ATTITUDE making a difference in you and others!
In a world that is constantly changing, how are my making a difference? Makes you stop and thing, doesn't it? Are you making a difference in yourself, your mindset, your habits, your character? Today, more than ever before, the world needs you, your gifts, your talents, your passion to make a difference in the way you live, and how you can impact others. While there are days that may be difficult there is no doubt, you still need to show up and give it your best. This is something as parents we instill in our children, too. So, be a good example, won't you? Here are a few ideas how you can make a difference:
1. Volunteer your time at a local school, charity, place of worship and community
2. Volunteer your gifts to do so. If you are good at organizing, if you're good at sewing, if you're good at painting, etc. Use your gifts to benefit others in your community and make a difference.
3. Volunteer to shop for a neighbor or a friend who may not be able to get out
4. Volunteer your listening ear, many times that's what another person may need
5. Volunteer your resources, if you know a business who can benefit your community, share them, help them to make a difference as well.
6. Volunteer your finances if you're able to spare your resources, research and reach out to help a local pantry, shelter, nonprofit, family, etc. in your community.
7. Volunteer your knowledge, if you've learned from your own mistakes, help others go down a better path, reach out to your local youth center if you have one and become a mentor
Volunteering is not only benefiting your community, it provides you a passion to do more as there is no greater feeling than being appreciated for your kindness in your own circle or in your community. We're all in this journey together, might as well make the most of it!
If you'd like to learn more about how the Characters of Character are making a difference in the life of a child, visit us online.
If you'd like to donate to our Children's Hospital donations in Tennessee, visit us online.
If you'd like to donate to our Children's Hospital donations in Texas, visit us online.
If you'd like to donate to our Sumner Library Activity for Hendersonville, visit us online.
If you'd like to learn more about how you can support our work, visit us online.
Characters of Character is a registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization whose mission is to provide a firm foundation for children to establish strong civic values. We work tirelessly sharing our materials to impact our children with character building activities. Visit us online for FREE resources and share these with others to help make a difference, together, we can make the world better.
During the Holiday Season it seems our hearts are more open to donating, to volunteer and to give to others in need. There are so many simple ways to do so, not only this time of the year, but, let's continue to be kind every single day! Together we can make a difference in the life of a child.
Where to Volunteer Your Time, a few suggestions:
Keep in mind as you look for nonprofits that there is a clear sense of mission and purpose, as well as practices, procedures and policies to make their mission a success. The best charities to donate to are clear about their mission. They know what they want to accomplish and why their goals are important. It's up to you where you donate your valuable time and your hard earned money. When you are looking to donate either of these, please consider the Characters of Character as we have a few projects right now to donate our sturdy, colorful, fun, engaging and empowering activity boxes to Children's hospitals in Illinois, Tennessee and Texas. Visit us online to learn more. We are also donating to the Hendersonville Library to build self-esteem and confidence in children in the community.
While there is no paid staff here at Characters of Character, we have a very supportive Board of Directors and many volunteers who help keep the character messages alive and well. For them, we are appreciative. How can you support our cause?
* share us on social media, facebook, twitter, linkedin, pinterest, instagram
*engage in our free resources at Character Corner and share pictures!
*check out our Amazon Wish List
* Let us know how we can benefit you
Let's Make the World Better Together!
My Favorite is Involve Me
My favorite is Involve Me as the time goes so quickly when raising a child. I miss those day, A LOT! And, while there is stress in every chapter of life, it's truly up to us to choose our battles. I choose to be happy, to find the joy and the positive in any given situation, for I do believe there are lessons there, too!
So, I thought I'd share some simple ideas to involve your children during this time of the year and hopefully you'll find some happiness in this and continue to involve them all year long. My tip is to find something that they enjoy doing, or, introduce them to new things and they may surprise you in finding joy in doing some of them!
1. Let them bake with you in the kitchen, yes, it can become messy, but, teach them to be responsible and help clean up the mess!
2. Let them help you if you're sending out holiday greetings, write the family name, put on the stamps, put the card in the envelope. This will show them the friends you have as a family and maybe they'll suggest new ones along the way.
3. Let them go on walks with you, remember, communication and social interaction are the backbone of a child’s development! Allow them into the conversation when you run into neighbors or friends along the way.
4. Show them to be respectful of the world around them, involve them in chores! If it's cleaning their room, the front porch or taking out the trash. As they grow, introduce them into additional chores, too.
5. Let them give their input on the shopping list, this is a good opportunity to talk about healthy foods for the family and it's fun to shop for family favorites.
6. Let them help put shopping items away, this will help with their organization skills!
7. Let them help you when you're working on a project or hobby, ask their advice, ask their opinion and ask if they would like to try it. If it's knitting, planting, writing, etc. this introduces them to new things and when they know that it's something that you like to do, perhaps they'll find interest in it.
8. Let them help you put the laundry where it belongs, this way when you ask them to grab a towel, they'll know where it is, or their favorite yellow socks, they'll know where to find them.
9.Find a simple craft to make and give out as a gift, to another family or friend. Let them feel the joy that this will bring, and they can say they helped make it.
10. Play games with your children!
11. Have a treasure hunt with your children.
12.Read stories together.
13. Write stories together.
14.Paint together, put two canvas (or thick media paper) side by side, draw a heart leaving half on one and half on the other, you paint your half, they paint their half and then hang them side by side!
15.On scrap paper, everyone gets to write down ten things they like to do or to read or would like to do or to read. Put them in a bag, shake it up, after dinner or when homework is completed, let one person pick from the bag for everyone to get involved in. Set special time aside for this so that you enjoy it!
16. Same as the above except write down things that are difficult for you, something that you would like to learn and this way it's something that the family can help each other out with. Maybe your son struggles tying his shoes, now you know and you can practice, perseverance!
17. Next write down each family members name, put it in a bag, shake it up, one person draws from it, says the name and must share what they like most about that person, or, what they would like that person to help them with. This builds confidence as there shouldn't be any negative comments, let's build on the positive and the positive will continue to grow!
18. While you're driving in the car, talk with your child, turn the music off, have a conversation with them, ask their favorite movie, their favorite food, their favorite book, etc. get involved in a heart to heart conversation, they'll remember these and look forward to more.
19. While an adults tasks are much different than a child's, still let them see what you're doing, let them ask questions, and you can ask if they'd like to help with it.
20. I'd suggest that you take a moment to write down how you can involve your children, nobody knows your child better than you.
I do BELIEVE that when you just TELL a child something, they may forget
I do BELIEVE that when you teach a child something, they will remember,
and I do BELIEVE that when you Involve a child, they learn.
Characters of Character is a nonprofit organization whose mission is "To provide a firm foundation for children to establish strong civic values."
Married with children since 1981. Love working with children and sharing the Characters of Character.