What is a person’s character?
:: the traits that make one person different from another
:: a person’s enduring moral code
:: hereditary personality traits
:: a tendency to make certain decisions based on important life events
Tending to and nurturing character growth is the cream that floats to the top of our role as parents, the richest, most nourishing result of what we do. But character growth doesn’t always look like a rewarding and nourishing job. Guiding our children’s character growth usually looks like the daily grind of parenting. It is helping them understand empathy so they will recognize when they’ve wronged someone. It looks like asking our children to participate in household chores, helping them calm down when they’re angry and mediating sibling squabbles. It looks like keeping our own shit together when we are faced with a challenging situation as parents, so our kids can learn from our modeling.
It’s the cumulative product of everything we deal with as parents. Some of which is within our control (our own self-discipline, for example), and some of which is out of our control (our child’s genetically inherited traits). Yep, it’s Pretty Big Stuff. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, or to feel like we must start as we mean to go on, holding our very young children to standards we’d expect of older kids or adults.
As Jamie’s quote above reminds us, character growth is a process. Our kids are just starting out down that road. As adults we are probably further along, but we’re all continually growing and learning. The mindset and attitude we take makes a huge difference to how we react to our children and to ourselves. It’s a big part of why I named my project Playful Self-Discipline. Mindset matters.
Interested in learning more? I’d definitely recommend checking out Jamie C. Martin’s ebook, Mindset for Moms, now available along with 21 other resources as part of the Mindful Nurturing eBundle sale.