Home School Heartbeat Radio Program

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Nurturing Character
Volume 118, Program 69
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How does your preschooler learn good character? Well, mostly by watching you! Listen in on today’s Home School Heartbeat, with your host Mike Smith, to hear how you can be a better model of character for your child.

Mike Smith: Vicki, as our early years consultant, do you have any tips to help parents teach their preschooler about good character?

Vicki Bentley: Well, first, remember that our children are often little mirrors, so, as parents, we need to model the behaviors we want our children to learn, and remember they’re watching us all the time! When we drive, when we cook, when we talk on the phone to someone frustrating us, when we respond to our spouse or our own parents. Also, I think it’s important to train our children in character in the context of Scripture, using biblical terms. The Bible doesn’t instruct our children to be nice (which actually comes from the word for foolish, by the way), but to be kind, to honor one another, to be gentle, to be obedient, to care for one another, and so on, so that’s the terminology I use. In books such as Little Visits with God, they hear how the children in the stories handle their dilemmas in a manner that’s pleasing to the Lord. You could minimize meltdowns by having little practice sessions, kind of roleplaying how to speak gently and respectfully at a friend’s house, or how to obey and honor Mommy in the grocery store. We taught our children as preschoolers to bring a cup of hot cocoa to the garbage collectors in the winter and a cold drink in the summer, and to be hospitable and sharing, because our goal was to encourage them to serve the Lord and to serve others. And our children have grown up to be very giving, compassionate people who love the Lord and others.

Mike: Well, thank you for sharing this, Vicki. To live wisely, knowledge should go hand in hand with godly character. And until next time, I’m Mike Smith.  

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