Character Education is Everywhere

Character education isn’t anything new. It’s recently received a formal label. However, adults have been teaching character for years. Maybe it wasn’t in a formal class setting, but that doesn’t matter. Parents and grandparents, teachers, coaches and anyone who interacts with kids is a teacher of character.

Anyone who helps shape a child’s personality and view of life is a character educator. Do you disagree with that statement? Well, consider this. You influence the children you interact with in a number of ways, including:

1. The way you talk. Do you use a lot of foul language? If so, the children around you may pick up the same habit. You’re basically showing them that it’s fine to use bad language. Unless someone else shows them otherwise, they will probably start speaking the same way.

You can also influence their manner of speech. Do you use slang all the time? Do you speak proper English, Spanish or whatever language you speak? Using slang and improper forms of speech can influence children as well. Have you ever heard an older child speak who sounds like they don’t understand the language? It’s probably because they’ve picked up negative speech patterns from an adult.

2. Your behavior. Do you allow children to see you blatantly lying? Do you treat people unfairly? Any such behaviors can influence what children do. Children are heavily influenced by how adults behave. They pay more attention to what you do as opposed to what you tell them to do. If your actions contradict your words, children will pay closer attention to your actions.

3. The behavior you allow. How do you allow children to behave? Do you let them litter without telling them to clean it up? Do you allow them to run in the house? Children will think anything is fine unless you tell them otherwise.