7 Effective Character Building Tips

Author: Francis Edo Olotu

Building the character of your child is the noblest task of a father because it leaves a lasting impression on the child while society benefits from it. A father must have a large repertoire of strategies to enable him achieve this goal. These include:

1. Create Ethical Boundaries for your Child

Let there be sanctions for telling lies to discourage children from this vice which is a gateway to other vices. Use your child’s mistakes and wrong actions as opportunities to teach him what proper action is and use it to form his character.

2. Use Anecdotes to Teach Moral Lessons

Society never lacks anecdotes that pack enough punches to educate young minds. The Enron scandal would provide valuable lessons in corporate fraud. Enron was a multinational corporation which grew from nowhere to be America’s 7th largest company in 15 years. It had 21,000 staff in its payroll in more than 40 countries. However, investigations will later reveal that its success was an elaborate scam woven around lies about their profitability and concealed debts which were not reflected in the company’s audited accounts. The company declared bankruptcy in 2002 while those found guilty were sent to jail. It teaches us that there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed; therefore honesty remains the best policy. There are always lessons in everyday life and in the dailies which a discerning father can use to build his child’s character.

3. Use Family History to Create a Memory Bank

Extended family members suffering on account of their character flaws might be used as ready examples to discourage your child from walking in their footsteps. There may be some family members who because of laziness ended up being poor or doing low paying jobs. My father taught me early in life that laziness is one ailment that the physician has no cure for, because it is a mindset that paralyzes the rest of the body. Use stories of persons your children know or whom they can relate to in conveying moral lessons. With stories and anecdotes, you are creating a memory bank in your child that he will draw upon in building his character.

4. Behavioural Changes

Character training entails weaning your child off unwholesome habits. A child who steals can be told the consequences of stealing especially using everyday examples. Attitudinal changes will be demanded while counseling is sought after if as a parent you feel it is necessary.

5. Compassion

Teach your child compassion and empathy by making him show compassion to less privileged persons. Encourage him to participate in volunteer services for the less privileged.

6. Be Proactive

Consider the uniqueness of your child and make an inventory of his character needs rather than his faults; then you will be in a position to employ rational means in building a good character in him.

7. Use of Wise Sayings and Prudent Maxims

These power-packed sayings have a way of leaving strong and lasting impressions on the memory of young persons. Faithful application of these strategies will go a long way in helping your child transit into a responsible adult with very bright prospects of living a successful life.

These tips would assist you in building a good character in your child.

About the Author:

Dr Francis Edo Olotu is the Medical Director of Christ Hospital, Ondo. He is also a family counselor who regularly counsels married persons and administers pre-marriage counseling to couples about to marry in his home church of St John Bosco Catholic Church Ondo. He is a frequently featured speaker in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. He is married to Catherine and their marriage is blessed with four children in the age bracket of twelve to twenty two. Dr Olotu is the author of the following books: The Amazing Power in Fatherhood; Releasing the Power in Fatherhood as well as Your Guide to Cancer Prevention.

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