Strengthening Character Traits
Character traits are those pieces of our personalities that influence how we act and respond to everyday situations. There are character traits that are deemed desirable within a community’s culture and those that may be viewed as less desirable. Here are just a few examples:
|Desirable Traits||Less Desirable Traits|
It is important to note that these traits are not necessarily all good, or all bad. As is often the case, too much of a good thing can be harmful, and sometimes we have to use less than desirable traits in certain scenarios. Consider the character trait of dependability. It is considered a good thing to be dependable. However, if a person continually puts the needs of others above their own needs, especially if they feel they have to be dependable at all times, the situation can become unhealthy.
Here are some additional examples:
- A person can be generous to a fault, giving away more than they can afford to give.
- Sometimes, a person might need to be selfish to ensure they are taking time to care for themselves properly.
- A person can be too honest with others, causing hurt feelings.
- Sometimes, a person might need to deceive someone for whom they are planning a surprise party.
As children strengthen their understanding of character traits, they will begin to demonstrate them more frequently. It is important to help children develop an understanding of all types of character traits, desirable or otherwise. This understanding should include what the traits are, what they look like in real-life scenarios, and the impact they have on individuals and others.
The U.S. Department of Education describes character education as a learning process that enables students and adults in a school community to understand, care about and act on core ethical values such as respect, justice, civic virtue and citizenship, and responsibility for self and others.
Character traits are greatly influenced by what members of a family or community value as most important. As one of children’s first communities, early learning programs can help children develop character traits that will serve them their entire lives.
For the article Exploring Character Traits, CLICK HERE
For the article Recognizing Character Traits, CLICK HERE
For the article Practicing Character Traits, CLICK HERE
For the article Director’s Corner – Focusing on Character at all Levels, CLICK HERE