Review: Character is the Key

The role as parent is never easy. We are responsible for feeding and dressing and caring and teaching our kids. And as parents we relish our roles, no matter how difficult. But some times the things our children learn from us are things we didn’t mean to teach them.

As my children get older and exert more of their independence, I’m encountering more disruptive behavior, especially with my seven year old daughter. And you know whatever behavior my seven year old is displaying, my two younger kids (5 and 2) will mimic, especially the behavior I don’t want to see.  And secretly, as I watch them, I know some of that behavior is modeled from what they see in my or my husband: yelling when frustrated or no listening when tired.

GetAttachment.aspxSo when Mom Central offered me the chance to read and review Character is the Key: How to Unlock the Best in Our Children and Ourselves, I was more than a little interested. The book, written by Sara Dimerman, is designed to help families work together toward understanding the influence parents have on their children’s behavior and how work together to develop the character you want them to have.

The book is divided into three sections:

Section 1 – provides parents with the ground work toward understanding what values and characteristics they want their children to exemplify and what role parents play in setting that example.

Section 2 – is really the heart of the book, discussing how to conduct family meetings and establishing your family plan. These meetings and the plan ensure all family members, not just the parents, have input in the direction the family is going and how everyone is progressing to toward these goals. This section also includes feedback from families who have gone through the process already. These stories illustrate that your plan can be achieved.

Section 3 – discusses how to set-up monthly family meetings, focusing on one of the ten characteristics in detail. Each characteristic chapter includes a family activity created by Dynamix to help illustrate the characteristic being discussed. Plus these activities are great for learning and discovering and growing together as a family.

Before I even read the book I knew,  like many parents, that kids learn from our examples, good and bad. What is encouraging is the stories included in the book from other families show that I’m not alone in struggling with this concern. And beyond that, these families were able to take control and make change happen. Along with examples, the book helps you think about and examine what characteristics you want your kids to have, what type of people you want them to be now and in the future. The book provides you with a number of questions to ask yourself. The book goes beyond just providing information. It is designed to be an interactive tool, with questions, topics and worksheets to get you started. Plus all the worksheets included in the book are available online.

My kids may be young, but what better stage to start instilling future characteristics and adjusting the examples I’ve set. We’re looking forward to our first family meeting and seeing where that takes us. For more information on the book and additional resources, visit the site Character is the Key.

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Character is the Key: How to Unlock the Best in Our Children and Ourselves and received a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.

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