Please tell me we still all believe that, don’t we? Yet the process of establishing a strong set of character qualities in our children can seem daunting and so overwhelming, especially when we are in the midst of the pandemonium and poopies, can’t it? (One of my talks is ‘Character Counts: Polishing the Pandemonium and Poopies…it’s a title that gives me lots of leeway for some pretty funny ‘poopy’ stories).

So where do we start?
Start simply! So how about picking one virtue a month to focus on, and go from there.
Define it for the kids…literally… and repeat it frequently. Yep, it may feel like “school” the first few times, but once they have a few character definitions memorized, you will be amazed at the deeper sense of dialog that takes place. You can even make some great crafty project out of it, or start a Family Values Journal/notebook which is what I have.
Then talk about it throughout the month.
Use life lessons as examples so the kids really “get it” and then just live it. Look for ways that they are exhibiting the virtue and praise, praise, praise the character they are showing. I will share later how I tie in monthly traditions to all of our character qualities, but I am realizing that I get long winded in this new blog thing.:)

So in honor of our amazing country’s birthday, this month’s family value is Courage.

Here’s a simple definition to memorize: Courage is being brave enough to do what you should do even when you’re afraid.

True courage is not about being fearless. On the contrary, it’s about doing things even though we are afraid: afraid of failing, afraid of losing, afraid of getting hurt, or afraid of others not liking us.

Courageous people take those risks because it’s the right thing to do, because it’s really important to them, or because it’s what they stand for. They know they may not succeed, and they know what the consequences are. Courage means doing things that are difficult, because we know in our hearts they are good, or right, or the best thing to do in the long run. Strong Convictions will lead to many opportunities to show courage.

Doesn’t this open the door for some wonderful dinner time conversations? I have a conversations starters box that sits in the middle of our table, and we love it!! I want to make our meal time memorable, and one of the ways is by truly connecting. This gives a great opportunity to have focused discussion about how the virtue applies to their life. It’s so fun to see the way that God has wound them all so uniquely….their answers vary so much.
Here are a few examples to get your creative juices flowing:
Conversation Starters ~ Courage What is your greatest fear? How can you overcome it? Think of a time when you had to be courageous about something. How did God “equip” you to be brave enough to do what you needed to do? Name a person, living or dead, who has displayed great courage. Why is true courage only shown when you face something that you fear?

Since building character in my children is something I am very passionate about (and yikes, does that bring out my issues in their own right), I will be sharing lots more hands on ideas. This should get you started. Light the candles at the dinner table, and have some great discussion. I can’t wait to hear.