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Fostering Character Development in Teens: Kindness (cont.)

In There's a Stranger in My House by Dr James Wellborn

Teach it.  Kindness is a combination of several different qualities you can help your kid develop.  Here are some worth cultivating. Empathy.  Kindness, like other prosocial Character-istics (e.g., Compassion, Generosity),  requires understanding of others feelings; viewing things from their perspective.  It is important to help your kid “walk a mile in their shoes.”  Take the time to talk about how …

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Fostering Character Development in Teens: Kindness

In There's a Stranger in My House by Dr James Wellborn

def. (noun) benevolent, considerate and helpful Kindness, particularly in the form of altruism, does a person good; so much so that it appears to be hard wired into our system.  People who are mean and selfish are likely to be shunned; those who are kind, considerate and helpful are liked and valued.  Acts of kindness reduce stress, increase the release …

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Fostering Character Development in Teens: Honor, Pt 2

In There's a Stranger in My House by Dr James WellbornLeave a Comment

Teach it.  While research suggests that people have a natural tendency to be fair, there are also lots of experiences (and cultural messages) that encourage kids to think only of themselves.  There are a number of qualities that underlie a sense of Honor. Define honor.  Honorable people treat others fairly.  Fair, just, equitable, right, good sport; these are a few …

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Fostering Character Development in Teens: Honor, Pt 1

In There's a Stranger in My House by Dr James WellbornLeave a Comment

def: (noun) fair and respects the rights of others One of the primary ways that societies regulate the behavior of their fellow citizens has been through an emphasis on honor; upholding it, defending it, living with it.  In many considerations, honor represents the whole collection of Character-istics, similar to Character and integrity.  However, in this column, honor represents a specific …

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Family Holiday Survival Guide

In There's a Stranger in My House by Dr James WellbornLeave a Comment

While making plans to spend time with extended family over the upcoming holiday, I was reminded of a book I ran across some time ago by Laurence Gonzales (Deep Survival, 2005) about surviving in a familiar but unforgiving and hostile environment.   Gonzales interviewed survivors, gathered information on people who perished, and reviewed research on the psychology of survival.  He then …

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Fostering Character Development in Teens: Honesty, pt 1

In There's a Stranger in My House by Dr James WellbornLeave a Comment

def. (noun) sincere, frank, genuine, truthful In addition to learning how to behave appropriately in different social situations, establish a foundation for future employment, and develop meaningful close relationships, teens also need to create a foundation of universal moral principles to guide decision making throughout their lives.  Honesty is one of these fundamental values. Honest people are sincere, frank, genuine, …

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Fostering Character Development in Teens: Generosity (cont.)

In There's a Stranger in My House by Dr James WellbornLeave a Comment

Teach it.  Generosity needs to be taught.  There are a number of skills that lead to generosity.  Manners are an important form of generosity.  Good manners are about being considerate, patient, tolerant and generous.  Opening doors for others, giving up your seat to someone older or physically challenged, waiting for everyone to be served before beginning to eat and politeness …

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Fostering Character Development in Teens: Courage, pt 2

In There's a Stranger in My House by Dr James WellbornLeave a Comment

Notice it.  What you characterize as courageous is important.  Who you consider to be heroic is important.  Again, while heroism is the easiest to spot it is the least relevant to helping your kid be courageous in their everyday life.  Heroism is rare by definition.  Courage is all around you.  It is on the news.  It is in your house.  …