A glimpse into my head on any given day…
Will my daughter have a happy successful life?
How will my son handle major setbacks?
Do my children have what it takes to stand up to a bully? Would my kids ever bully another child?
What does this bad grade mean for her future?
What pitfalls will threaten my kids? Drugs? Porn? Negativity & Depression?
Moms and dads are an anxious bunch… Ok, I can’t speak for everyone out there, but if my hamster wheel brain is any indication, we worry a lot about our children. I stress about the decisions they will make, the people they’re around, and if my husband and I are teaching them the character strengths that will get them through the inevitable trouble spots ahead.
While all those issues are undoubtedly very important, sometimes I miss a very obvious foundational lesson for them—building up my own character. What we model to our children now matters more in the long run than any other lesson we try to teach them. So what should we pass on to our kids through example? There are three character strengths that we can exercise in order to take our parenting to the next level. Consider it a kind of parenting boot camp that will get you into shape FAST!
The 3 Overlooked Character Strengths That Make Good Parents GREAT!
1. Strive to Live Orderliness/ Organization
This character strength is crucial, yet it gets overlooked all. the. time. Experts agree that it’s the most foundational virtue because without it we are too bogged down to grow in other areas of our lives. People mistakenly think order and organization are just about keeping our spaces tidy, although that is a small part of it—it’s really about prioritizing our most precious resources in this order: relationships ⤏ time ⤏ and finally, stuff.
Families of Character has your back on helping you live this day-to-day in manageable, simple steps. Our signature “Adventure into Character” subscription box (available very soon!) will help parents journey to more orderliness. It’s a kit designed by parents for parents to help the whole family unite around the most foundational character strength of all—order & organization. Getting your priorities in order will help end all that yelling, nagging, and frustration we experience as parents. And, you might just start feeling a little more zen once you learn how to drop all the extras that are driving you insane.
2. Model Resilience Every Day!
The meaning behind this character strength can be traced back to its word origin. It comes from the Latin, “resilire” which literally means to rebound or spring back. Practicing resilience means we have the grit and determination to come back from difficulties and mistakes. How we handle setbacks is a huge indicator as to how kids will manage life overall. As parents, are we quick to own a mistake and share how we’ve learned? Are we slow to forgive those who have hurt us? And are we able to forgive ourselves when we mess up? Embracing failure as a positive in our lives will help our kids learn to re-frame how they think about failure and challenges. To find out more about living resilience practically and how it can help our kids, check out this blog post.
3. Have an Attitude of Gratitude
When we take the time to concentrate on all the good in our lives, our brain chemistry actually changes! By focusing on the positive, we begin to rewire our gray matter to be happier and a whole lot less anxious. A practical way to incorporate the character strength of gratitude in the day is to pick one thing you will choose to be grateful for each day. When the going gets tough refer back to the person, gift, or situation you consider a blessing. To further cement the positivity, write it on a post-it-note and say it out loud every time you pass the reminder. This is a great way to demonstrate to your kids the habit of seeking gratitude throughout the day.
We have a great freebie that will be a powerful sign of growth to your children as well. Don’t miss out on this fun, quick exercise that will model an attitude of gratitude. Fill it out today and light their way to a much brighter future.
Check out this Gratitude page from our newly-minted journal here. It’s just a hint of all the amazing content we have planned for you in the upcoming weeks as we gear up for the launch of our Adventure into Character subscription box series. Your family will unbox inspiration and fun designed to get every family member growing in love, responsibility and oh yeah.. more laughter! That’s the beauty of building a foundation of strong character.
Stop parenting in isolation! Join our private Facebook group today, the THRIVE Community by Families of Character. It’s a place for parents to be strengthened with daily prompts and activities designed to rejuvenate your mission to raise great kids in happy families. We’re in this together, mom & dad. Adventure on!