Hi there, it's Finley 👋🏼 and Happy Friday.
Today's story takes 3 minutes to read (plus a future follow-up 😉)
Character isn't by accident.
Truth: when you try to do everything, you wind up with nothing.
It's human nature.
Whether it's too many hobbies to enjoy, too many books to read or too many rooms to clean, we sputter when we do too much.
That's why a key element for great transformation is always focus. It brings simplicity and clarity, which we all desperately need as parents.
This is even true for the character you want to see developed in your kids.
You have the opportunity as a parent to focus on 1-2 deep character qualities per child each year.
You'll always have more time than you know, but less than you think as a mom or dad.
Because of this, when you pick 1-2 specific areas of character you'll feel focused and clear enough to be able to reinforce it often.
Of course we all want well rounded kids, but there will be a time and place for them to grow in many areas.
Some seasons you'll find yourself naturally in the thick of issues of integrity or empathy. Other times you'll be forced to develop boldness or goodness.
But, for this coming school year, why not pick 1-2 characteristics that you want to sink deep into each of your school age children?
The process can look like this:
- Step 1: Consider your individual child and their unique school season.
- Step 2: Look through a list and choose 1-2 main characteristics (preferably with your spouse).
- Step 3: Engage your kids over dinner, a snow cone or while running errands. Explain your choice for their character quality this year.
The rest is implementation and consistency! You'll be amazed how often you will have the opportunity to apply that specific character quality into their life this coming year.
Speak about that character quality often, name it, and praise it when you witness it in them and in others.
If you want to take it several steps further, write it in big bold letters somewhere in your living room or kitchen.
You can research it, find stories about it, and ask them if they've had to demonstrate it recently.
Take it further, pray with them and for them that their character quality would take deep root.
As parents, it is easy to forget that SOME > NONE.
This is not a pass or fail initiative.
You are certain to want to see your kids grow in their character, so make this school year about something specific!
Here is what I'm focused on for my kids this year:
Elle (18) - adaptability & independence
Silas (17) - conviction & responsibility
Maye (14) - contentment & determination
When you decide yours will you email me back? I'd love to know. It gets kinda lonely on this side of the email newsletter sometimes.
Character Quality List
Back when I was in college, my wife and I worked at Kanakuk Kamps for many summers. One of our jobs was to pick 2 character qualities (or CQs as we called them) for each kid in our cabin.
We'd stand in front of a group of parents and speak those out loud so everyone could hear. I always thought it was a great way to affirm and develop the kids as we sent them home.
I reached out to some staff people at Kanakuk and they sent me this list. Hope it is helpful for you to pick 1-2 for each of your kids.
I have chosen 25 character qualities below. Attempting to not overwhelm, I've removed about 70% of the total list.
If you'd like the full list, just click here and you'll receive a follow up email with more for you to dive into at your convenience.
Attentiveness - Paying or giving attention, intent, observant.
Bravery - To encounter with courage and fortitude.
Compassion - Sympathetic, desire to help others, kind hearted.
Considerate - Regard for others’ circumstances or feelings.
Contentment - Satisfaction with what one has or circumstances.
Cooperative - To work or act together or as a group for a common goal.
Dedicated - Given wholly to a purpose, goal or thing, devoted.
Determined - Showing firm intentions, resolute, unwavering, firm.
Diligence - Steady application, constant effort to accomplish something.
Discerning - Discriminates between good & evil, judicious, perceptive.
Fairness - Honest, open, frank, impartial or unbiased.
Flexibility - Capable of being adapted or modified.
Forgiveness - Inclined to overlook offenses, to cease to feel resentment.
Gentleness - Kindly, mild, not severe.
Gratefulness - Thankfulness of kindness shown or benefits received.
Humility - Not proud or arrogant, modest and submissive to authority.
Integrity - Unimpaired moral principles, honest, soundness, undivided.
Joyfulness - Gladness, delight, causing satisfaction and happiness.
Listener - To give close attention in order to hear, pay attention to.
Meekness - Mild of temper, gentle, not easily provoked or irritated.
Patience - Waiting with calmness, not hasty, calmly diligent.
Respectfulness - Regard, high consideration and courtesy.
Self-Control - Control of one’s actions or feelings.
Self-Starter - Applies effort w/o instruction or directions from others.
Sensitivity - Having feelings easily excited, readily and acutely affected.
Trustworthy - Worthy of trust or confidence, reliable.
Truthfulness - Conformity to fact or reality, honesty by nature.
If you think about praying for my family this weekend,
it is more than welcome.
Today we are moving our oldest daughter into the Freshman dorm.
There are a lot of family emotions we are feeling and while we are so excited for her, we are also sad about our family dynamics changing.
Thanks for praying for the Robinsons!