"You did check that link out to remind yourself about the definition of character education, now, didn't you?"
Character Education Programs - #1, Friendship
Remember, action is required, not mere thinking in these character education programs.
Research is required.
Writing and discussion are part of these character education programs.
I am sharing with you what I consider the three most extraordinary character traits everyone needs for success in life, however you define success.
The first segment of these character education programs is geared for children 7 and older, possibly 8 and older.
Vision: Deepen children's understanding of friendship, i.e., how to make and keep friends.
Why is friendship so important?
Friendships lay the foundation for work, marriage, community involvement, relationship with self.
Even if you live alone deep in the woods, every aspect of your life deals with friendships. (You better be darn good friends with yourself, if you do live there).
Few people can live alone, by themselves, and remain satisfied with life.
How many people really want to live alone?
People often live alone in the midst of millions of neighbors, because they haven't mastered the art and science of friendships.
I'm not trying to scare you. The truth is if you don’t make and keep friends, you
are often sad, sometimes miserable, unable to share in the small joys and big events that come from deep friendships.
won't marry (or if you do, it won't last), raise children, even stay gainfully employed.
have no one to share your heart with.
have no one to support and give you comfort when life presents its unasked for, unanticipated, unwanted gifts that arrive on your doorstep daily.
Friends anchor you to love.
So, how do you make and keep friends?
First and foremost, you learn to be a good friend to yourself.
You become a good friend to yourself when you learn to love and accept yourself just the way you are this moment.
Young kids have no problem with this; however, as they age, and peer pressures kick in, they forget what unique, beautiful child of God they are.
Once you're your own best friend, it's easy to make and keep friends. You
Listen to people.
Whenever you're talking with someone, including yourself, pay attention to the words being said.
If you find yourself replying to their words while their still talking, you're not listening. Have them repeat what they were saying.
State back to them what they've said, so they know you've been listening.
Care for the other person.
Help your friend as needed by doing things or listening to her.
Go out of your way to extend a helping hand to your friend.
do things for your friend.
Take an active interest in her life.
Ask questions about what she's interested in.
Get her talking and listen closely to her interests.
Do things together about what she's interested in as well as what you're interested in.
Are considerate, understanding, forgiving, accepting.
Look out for your friend and cover her back.
Be loyal. Stand up for your friend. Don't let others criticize her.
Feel a sense of gratitude for your friend and you show it.
Thank her for her friendship.
Do something for her that makes her feel special, i.e., make your own birthday card for her and include her picture in it, with words of gratitude you've written.
Share with others how grateful you are for having such a kind, considerate, caring friend!
That covers the basics of friendship, let's begin the action part of these character education programs.
Here are the steps your child follows to build her friendship character muscles:
Week 1: Have your child imagine you, mom, just won the US Presidential election (yahoo, now we run this country the way it really should be run), you're the first female President ever, and it's time to move from Missouri to Washington, DC to live in the White House.
Your child's both excited and sad about the new move. She has to say goodbye to her old friends and make new friends. It's a big transition, but of course, she'll do fine (with your guidance).
Have her write the answers to these questions:
Does she think it will be hard or easy to make new friends? And why? (10 min)
Does she think she'll be able to keep her old friends and why? (10 min)
If Yes to question 2, how and what will she do to maintain long distance friendships? (15 min)
What does she feel is the most important character trait shown between friends? (5 min)
Describe her best friend. (10 min)
Use Google Search to find articles, magazines, etc to research what President Obama's daughters are experiencing as they prepare to move from Chicago, IL to DC. (20 min)
Have her discuss or write down the biggest challenges for Malia Ann (born 1999) and Natasha (born 2001), Barack's daughter's, as they prepare to move to the White House. (10 min)
Character Education Programs from Childrens Educational Books
I've created an extraordinary character education program about Friendship.
The book is the story of how 2 trains learn the true meaning of friendship. It involves some of the most important character traits your kids need to live successfully, i.e.,accepting, forgiving and love.
Bingo and Bonner, A Read-Me, Draw-Me Book allows kids 6-9 to create their own drawings based on their understanding of the friendship story.