How Children Learn Character
by Ron Kurtus (24 December 2012)
Your children learn lessons and rules of character from you and the example you set. You teach them right from wrong, as well as attitudes toward dealing with challenges and other people. Character lessons are provided in some schools to reinforce lessons taught at home. Friends, peer groups and the media often can provide both positive and negative character lessons when children reach their teens.
Questions you may have include:
- How are children taught character?
- What role does the school play in character?
- How do friends affect character?
This lesson will answer those questions.
You teach your children
In many cases, parents will teach their children what is the correct behavior to have in many situations. Most of the time, the children learn by example.
Children with abusive parents are taught that physical violence is the way to solve problems.
School influence teaches character
There is also a movement to teach character to children in school, especially at the lower grades. Students are taught to be honest, kind, fair, and reliable, as well as to have other positive traits.
Not all educators agree that this should be part of the curriculum, but they do agree that it might reduce disciplinary problems with the students later on.
Teens learn from friends
Children gain attitudes and character traits from their friends, especially when they get into their teens. Moral behavior, ethics and even religions can change due to the influence of friends and peer groups.
Many parents have seen their well-behaved child suddenly turn into a disruptive, rude individual. They hope that the negative character traits will just be a phase and that the child will outgrow them. Usually, this is the case. But sometimes, the child may go down the wrong path due to the influence of their friends.
Another influence in the teen years comes from the music, videos, movies and television that provide negative messages, advocating bad character traits.
Much of the character in a person is learned as a young child when they are taught right from wrong, as well as attitudes toward dealing with challenges and other people. Some schools provide character lessons to reinforce lessons taught at home. Friends, peer groups and the media often can provide positive and negative character lessons when children reach their teens.
Associate with those of good character
Resources and references
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How Children Learn Character