Parenting for Character 3 by Charles Debelak

Parenting for Character 3 by Charles Debelak

PARENTING FOR CHARACTER: TEACHING Teaching is the first aspect of character education. It is most effective when it is built around a common language. At Birchwood we use Aristotle’s seven moral virtues as a framework for inspiring and cultivating a life of becoming and a life that lives well among others. We define each virtue…

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Parenting for Character 2 by Charles Debelak

Parenting for Character by Charles Debelak picture

Parenting for Character: The Need for Teaching  The cycle of building character is simple. It begins when parents sow virtuous thoughts and words into a child’s heart. Given time, this sowing results in good behaviors, which, if practiced, accumulate to good character. By nature, children aspire to be good and virtuous. When they hear or…

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Parenting for Character 1 by Charles Debelak

Parenting for Character 1

THE LEGACY OF GOOD CHARACTER In this series of blogs entitled Parenting for Character, I hope to inspire you while also offering practical guidance on how to nurture good character in your children. It is my opinion, and I think I have a great deal of history and research in my corner, that character is…

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The Gift of Good Character 8 by Charles Debelak

Courage: The Gift of Good Character 8 by Charles Debelak

The Moral Virtues: Courage At Birchwood we have found two important requirements for effective character education. The first is to inspire children toward “good works.” Second is to educate and train children in the virtues that will enable them to realize these good works. Good works is a broad and inclusive phrase we use in…

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The Gift of Good Character 7 by Charles Debelak

The Gift of Good Character 7 by Charles Debelak

Virtue and Vice Virtue education awakens the “good” in a child’s humanity. Through virtue education children begin to understand themselves and to understand their potential for becoming a noble and distinguished person. Virtue education calls out to the “good” nature within each child. Recalling the metaphor of the elephant and the rider, we understand that…

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The Gift of Good Character 6 by Charles Debelak

The Elephant and the Rider The metaphor of the elephant and the rider, representing two aspects of human nature, helps us understand Aristotle’s context for discussing passion and reason. The rider represents reason; the elephant our emotions and passions. While the rider may envision noble goals and aspirations, it is the power and might of…

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The Gift of Good Character 5 by Charles Debelak

GOOD CHARACTER: DEFINING VIRTUE With the goal of shaping children’s character, we keep two efforts in mind: teaching and training. The teaching component of character education functions to explain the meaning of virtue and to inspire children to live virtuously. The training component includes the opportunities to practice virtue until teachings become habits. Both efforts…

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The Gift of Good Character 4 by Charles Debelak

people of good character grow, and in growing their sense of self-worth and self-confidence blossoms.

Last blog, we concluded with the statement “History and research are in accord: the development of strong character needs an early start.” Now I would like to pose the question, “What do we mean by strong character?” Our meaning of strong character actually means good character. That statement might seem obvious, but people of strong…

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The Gift of Good Character 3 by Charles Debelak

Good Character start early

EARLY START A NOTION ROOTED IN HISTORY AND MODERN RESEARCH We have established that good character is built upon good habits, and good habits are a result of practice over time. Also, we asserted that good habits are formed primarily during youth, the first 15 years of life. Now I hope you did your homework,…

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The Gift of Good Character 2 by Charles Debelak

Birchwood School Child Development

THE EARLY START Let’s assume that if you read the first blog in this series on character, you agree with the premise that the best gift you can give your children in life is good character. If so, let’s take a look at all the features included in giving this gift. I would like to…

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