Is Character the Answer to Some of Life's Problems?

 A thought provoking question for many. Is character the answer to some of life's problems?

I was watching the Fox and Friends show yesterday morning and they had Paul Tough on talking about his book How Children Succeed. Now, I'm not one who faithfully reads parenting books, looking for the pot of gold in training my son. There are few that I have read in the past and walked away learning something.

While I was listening to the interview three things Mr. Tough said stood out to me.

1. Praise Your Children's Efforts ~ What a let down for child to work really hard on something and then not hear a "Good Job!" or "Way to Go!". This is even something adults crave when they work on special assignments for work or even school. I remember the second year I taught school, I was given a page of  praises and encouragements to write on students work. What a life saver that was for me!  My favorite praise to use was "Super Duper Work!". When I was in school, I never heard a good word about any work I turned in, I remember spending countless hours on projects or written reports and never received a Good Job.  We learn from our past they say.

2. Let Your Child Fail ~ Yeah, I know how easy that can be for a parent; standing by watching and waiting for a child to fail at something, so they can learn a valuable lesson. That's easier said than done! In reality our children learn so much from a failing moment. Yes, it is hard to watch them beat themselves up over a simple mistake. But they learn character when they are faced with a moment of failure.

The word GRIT (firmness of mind or spirit : unyielding courage in the face of hardship or danger) was used several times during the segment. I love that word! You don't hear it much any more, but it is a word I want to instill in my son. I don't want him to be lax in his thinking or work skills. I want him to have grit when the time is necessary.

Self Control is something that so many people seem to have lost over the years. Don't believe me, watch your local news. The reason why we have the problems we do today  is self control was never enforced while the children were young. We've allowed some feather-brained psychologist to teach that our children have the right to express themselves without the fear of being corrected. Temper tantrums were allowed to be pitched instead of using the attitude adjuster. I'd like to ask, How's that working for ya?

3. Let Children Fight Their Own Battles ~ As a parent, this is not easy just like watching them fail at something. We want our child to succeed but we want them to do it without any problems. It's only natural. These battle could be anything from learning to tie their own shoe to dealing with a subject like math that doesn't come easy for them.

When Jamie was little, we bought him a bicycle with training wheels. He rode that thing until the training wheels fell off. Once that happened he tried to learn how to ride it on two wheels but he just couldn't get the hang of it. He had a little friend come over and spend the night and this little guy could ride a bike and proudly did so while Jamie stood by and watched. The hurt look on Jamie's face was almost unbearable. The next afternoon, when the friend left, Jamie went out and got his bicycle and was determined he was not leaving the yard until he could ride that bike. It took several hours but he did it. There were moments when I just knew he was going to give up but he didn't. He won that battle.

After listening to the segment, I went to Amazon to look at the book and see if I really wanted to spend money on it. Well, I'm super cheap when it comes to books, if I can't get them for free or almost free, then I usually don't buy them. I either go to the library or I wait for them to be turned into an Ebook and wait for the price to drop. While I was at Amazon I read some of the reviews and one really caught my eye ~ Is Character the Answer? 
That question has stood out in my mind since yesterday morning. Character is something that has to be taught, it is not something that we are born with.  Sadly, our country shows how character has been neglected when raising children. We have people in government who cheat, lie, kill and steal to get where they want to be and it doesn't bother them in the least little bit. We have a country full of crazies running up and down our streets doing all sorts of horrible evil. Why? These people have NO character. People want to argue about poverty or trauma causing people to do the things they do. GET REAL! Poverty has nothing to do with it; neither does a moment of trauma.  People want to blame their sins on someone or something else. They do not want to admit they are the problem. Character can be taught through poverty and trauma that may occur in someone's life.  There are countless men and women in our past who have been raised in poverty or had some sort of trauma in the lives, but they rose above those things and came out on top.

Parents should not allow either one of those things to be the reason they have another Bernie Madoof or Charles Manson on their hands.

So to answer the question, Is Character the Answer?. Other than the Bible and living a Christian life and raising our children to walk with the Lord, yes, character can be the answer.

I am so thankful I have been given the job to train my son to be a godly man, a strong family leader and a loving and gentle man.

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