One of the things I love the most about the program at CCS is the time spent on character training. With a trait to focus on each week, children have lots of opportunities during the day to see the practical application of those traits. The awesome news is that it doesn’t have to end when they leave school for the day…as parents, YOU, can continue to teach and reinforce these important life lessons to your children.
Don’t worry! You don’t need any expensive resources or burdensome lesson plans for this! It’s easy peasy…all you need is YOU and your CHILD and purposeful conversation!
So first of all, what is purposeful conversation? Well, conversation with a purpose, of course! It’s time spent speaking with your child (please note: with, not at), in a way that purposefully, or intentionally, pours into them. For busy parents, this isn’t always an easy thing! But I PROMISE you – once you start doing this, it will become easier and easier and soon it will be a very natural part of your parenting!
How are you supposed to engage your child in purposeful conversation? Well, let’s take a look at the character traits for the month of January: Prudence, Teachable Spirit, Obedience, Diligence, and Love.
I’m going to take you through a series of steps that will help you set in motion character training through conversation in your home.
First – define your terms! Lucky for you, we have already done the work of taking these character traits and putting them in easy to understand definitions for children! Click here for the pdf of those definitions!
Second – use the terms! Children are like sponges…they absorb and retain! Use the same terms repeatedly when having purposeful conversation. For example, if you are cultivating a teachable spirit, use the words “teachable spirit”. Or if you have witnessed your child finish a task respond with “Wow! You are so diligent! High five!” Throughout the year, you will have accumulated lots of traits that can be referred to and encouraged.
Third – determine the circumstances! Is there something currently happening that makes for a good conversation? Take crossing the street or parking lot, for example, where prudence (or thinking carefully before making a decision; cautious) can be demonstrated. If you have a wobbler or explorer age child, you may be only stating things in their presence, such as saying something like “Mommy is prudent – she always checks to make sure nothing is coming before she crosses the street!” As your child gets older, the statement evolves into a question “Mommy is being prudent when she always checks before crossing the street. Is there anything coming?” For older children, create “what-if” scenarios and ask them “Is that diligent? Did that show love? If not, what would be a better way of showing that?”
Fourth – learn the Bible verses with your children! Every character trait has an accompanying bible verse that is memorized during the week. Write it on your chalkboard at home or click here to print a reminder that can be placed on the refrigerator! Remember out of sight, out of mind!
Now, don’t delay! Start those purposeful conversations today!
Have a character training question? Email firstname.lastname@example.org