A Little Character Education Goes a Long Way


Have you ever had a shopping experience where you keep bumping into the same family while you are browsing the store? Johnny is sitting in the cart behind his toddler brother in the seat. Mom is on the cell phone. The scenario goes like this:

MOM: They have teal, magenta and a clear plastic tray. Which color do you want? Yeah, that would go well! OK, I’ll pick up the teal.

Johnny pulls his brother’s hair.

Brother cries, reaching for his mom.

Mom brushes the child’s arms away, while trying to carry on with her conversation and shopping.

JOHNNY: Mom, I want to go see the toys! Can I have a toy?

MOM: No!

JOHNNY: I WANT A TOY!!!! WHAAAAH!

BROTHER: WHAAAAH!

Mom slaps Johnny in the face. He screams even louder. Mom exits out of her phone call and proceeds to try to cajole and bribe her two screaming boys to a level of peace.

This same family files in behind you at the checkout line. Mom is exasperated by this time.

YOU: How old is the boy?

MOM: He’s 3. He’ll be lucky if he reaches 4!

Luckily for moms everywhere, character education is resurfacing as a buzzword. A fellow author, Joni Downey, has brought her books and company to my attention. After a review, I just wanted to invite you to try her books and services out.

Ms. Downey’s books have characters that cover the following nine areas as follows:

• Behavior Bear: A good listener and rule follower!

• Do’er Duck: Never gives up!

• Friendship Frog: Friendly & Honest!

• Healthy Hippo: Healthy habits, mind, body, and spirit!

• Manners Monkey: Polite with good manners and GREAT etiquette!

• Warmhearted Walrus- Stomps bullying through kindness, compassion, and a warm, caring heart!

• Respectful Rabbit: Respect is the twin of Responsible Rabbit!

• Responsible Rabbit: Responsible is the twin of Respectful Rabbit!

• Self-Esteem Elephant: Confidence and self-worth!

With these character traits the above scenario could just go like this:

Mom reminding her children of the rules of shopping before getting into the store.

Mom paying attention to her children instead of being on her cell phone, possibly using them to help shop. This might boost the self-esteem of her oldest, as he gains pride in being an integral part of the shopping experience.

Johnny might have enough respect for his little brother not to have pulled his hair and enough for his mom to accept that there would be no toys on this trip.

Mom’s demeanor would be a 180 in comparison to the first scenario. She would not be led to hitting; and thus, the self-esteem of her children would not be eroded. At least five of the books could turn that ugly scene all around!

These books are not novels. They are written for young children and are quite engaging. Activities help cement their messages firmly in the minds of their audience.

As well, Ms. Downey offers visits from her characters to further engrain their messages. For more information, contact Ms. Downey through her website for Characters of Character at www.charactersofcharacter.org.

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