Are Your Kids Driving You Crazy? How Character Building Charts Keep You Sane

Who lives in your house? Are they driving you "crazy?" Do you have a Winnie the Whiner, a Sammy the Slacker, or a Bubba the Bully? Perhaps you've yelled, you've lectured, and you've even spanked to get your Winnie to stop whining, your Sammy to do his chores, and your Bubba to stop hurting his little brother. How can you get your Peter the Cheater to play fair, your Larry the Liar to tell the truth or your Tilly the Tattle to mind her own business? Our greatest task as parents is to raise children with strong healthy characters. Let's find out how Character-Building Charts helped one mother and how they can help you too.

I remember counseling a young boy who was a 'Sammy the Slacker.' One day his teacher confided, "When I tell my class, 'Children, please take out your readers,' Sammy leans back in his chair, his arms hanging over its back, and calls out, 'I can't find my book!' Sure enough, a little girl scrambles over, looks his messy desk, and finds it for him."

Sammy irritated his teacher, lost the respect of his classmates, and had no friends. These are not the consequences most parents want for their children. To help Sammy, I worked with his parents, especially his mother. I found out that her mother and grandmother believed it was their duty to be servants to their families. They were to pick up after everyone, do all the housework, and be happy too.

Sammy's mom finally understood that she was spoiling her child, making him weak, dependent, and distasteful to others. She decided to turn off the internal voices of her mother and grandmother.

Sammy's mother did three things:

1. Wrote out age-appropriate chores for Sammy

2. Created a chart to help build his character

3. Worked with Sammy to choose a goal for his chart

Sammy's mother learned that goals must be clear, simple, and positive. At the top of Sammy's chart he wrote, "My goal is to do my own work and then help others."

Sammy's mom strengthed her bond with Sammy by:

1. Offering stickers for his chart

2. Creating a cost-free bonding activity list

3. Offering Sammy the choice of a bonding activity to do together when he earned a certain number of stickers

Once the chart was created, they posted it on the refrigerator. Sammy's mom knew she had to encourage his improvements by:

1. Being consistent in rewarding Sammy.

2. Offering his stickers soon after he completed a task

3. Scheduling his bonding activity soon after he earned enough stickers

Because Sammy's mom was positive and consistent in rewarding him, he went from being Sammy the Slacker to becoming Sammy the Helper. His teacher sent home reports of improvement and, slowly but surely, Sammy made friends.

Whether you have a Billy the Blamer, a Gretta the Greedy, or a child with some other problem behavior, consider using CHARACTER-BUILDING CHARTS. You'll be teaching your child responsibility, self-discipline, and teamwork. You'll even enjoy finding out who lives in your house. You'll be saner and happier and you'll be building character too.

Character Building Charts and a Bonding Activities List have been created for your convenience.

About the Author:

Jean Tracy, Edmonds, WA, USA

Jean Tracy,MSS, invites you to build character in young hearts and growing minds. To raise awesome kids with solid characters, sign up for her FREE Parenting Newsletter. Download her FREE bonding activities, parenting tips, and parenting articles at, http://www.KidsDiscuss.com

In The News:

Let Her Be?  Slate
Motherhood Imposter Syndrome  The New York Times
Raising My Kids as Activists  The Good Men Project

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