Thursday, November 10, 2011

Developing Character

Unfortunately, none of us are immune to stupidity. As part of the human condition we all, at one point or another, fall unwittingly into its trap. This applies equally to adults as well as children. Adolescents, it seems,are the most susceptible. 

Even my own brilliant prodigy are prone! 

It seems only slightly ironic to me that the subject of character would be so heavily on my mind on the same day that I've been invited to guest blog on a site called The Character Connection. Ironic, perhaps because of the coincidental timing. Timely because of something that recently played out in our household. 

In the Worlton home we have a mantra of respect and responsibility. It is upon these two traits that I believe every other virtue derives. From a very young age we've tried to instill these characteristics in our children.In the words of Anne Frank, however, we learn that: 
"Parents can only give good advice or put [their children] on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands." 
Fast forward to the teen-years...

My son pulled me aside the other day to tell me about something stupid that he'd done and - with a broken spirit - to suggest punishment for it. Sadly, this level of responsibility is almost unheard of in today's world of entitlement. Most kids (and adults too) approach their mistakes with an attitude of secrecy. My son could've easily taken this road as it's likely I'd have never found out on my own. But he didn't. He took the higher road. He accepted responsibility without being caught! 

I don't share this as a means to pat my own back as his parent, but to awe at the depth of  character already developing in this sixteen year old. As is often the case, I find myself the student and my children the teachers.

So, to my son - I applaud your honesty and courage. Thank you for respecting your father and me enough to accept responsibility for your poor choices. Your strong, unflinching character will define you and endear you to those whose paths you cross.  
People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built.  -- Eleanor Roosevelt

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...