If you want to help your children do well in life, there are a few things you can do. A high proportion of high achievers have two things in common:
First, there are lots of books in their homes and a great emphasis on reading.
Second, there is a family tradition of regularly eating dinner together.
Filling a house with books surrounds children with endless and varied opportunities and challenges to explore and learn. Books provide knowledge and the seeds of wisdom, and great stories teach about morality and character.
Eating dinner together assures that parents have an opportunity to participate in their kids’ day-to-day lives and help shape the way they think and react. Coordinating schedules so the family eats together often requires a conscious effort to elevate family time above other things. The effort itself can instill in children a sense of belonging.
But we can do more to offset the bad influences our kids are exposed to than promote reading and family discussions. Remember, everything we do to or in front of our children matters. What we allow, we encourage. And what we do ourselves teaches our children how to live and conveys powerful messages about values.
So be sensitive as to what you say and how you say it, what you read, and what you watch on TV. Be especially careful in the way you handle relationships and deal with emotions like disappointment, anger, and frustration.
That’s because what you do is what you’ll get.
This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.