iSpecialist Directory

View all iSpecialists

Articles by Dr. Scott Turansky


Dr. Scott Turansky

Dr. Scott Turansky offers moms practical, real-life advice for many of parenting’s greatest challenges. read bio

Character Training Step 2: How to Diagnose Strengths and Weaknesses

Once you have your list of negative behaviors, look for patterns. Your list of negative behaviors can be summarized by three or four character weaknesses. In the previous illustration, for example, several problems listed suggest a lack of perseverance or lack of diligence. Look for misbehaviors that are related. Ask yourself questions such as "Do the problems reveal a pattern that happens at a particular time? Do the problems occur with certain people? Is there an underlying connection that several misbehaviors have in common?"

Try to determine root problems that cause the negative behaviors. Look for character-quality deficiencies. Look past behaviors that frustrate you to each child's heart, where the root problems lie.

Sometimes, as you evaluate the problem behaviors, it's helpful to define negative traits as positive qualities being misused. Good character qualities can be taken to an extreme and demonstrate a negative side. For instance, the organized child may become intolerant or inflexible in a less-structured situation. A child's strength can lead to an area of weakness. Here is a list of positive character qualities with their negative counterparts. When you see a strength on one side of the list, you're likely to see one or more of the negative expressions of that quality as well.

Positive Quality            Negative Counterpart

Affectionate                   Flirtatious, clingy, naïve in boy-girl relationships

Analytical                       Picky, petty, critical

Compassionate           Easily angered, overly emotional, gullible, biased, lenient

Confident                      Prideful, bossy, insensitive, always has to lead, overconfident

Content                         Unmotivated, apathetic, lazy

Courageous                 Reckless, foolish, can't see consequences of actions

Creative                        Deceptive, manipulative, mischievous,

Decisive                        Inflexible, domineering, impatient

Determined                  Hardheaded, stubborn, obstinate, argues, badgers

Discerning                    Judgmental, critical, faultfinding, jumps to conclusions

Disciplined                    Rigid, bossy, intolerant of change, inflexible, demanding

Eager to Please           Compromising, easily tempted, can't take a stand for right

Efficient                         Slow, inflexible, demanding, 

Enthusiastic                  Intense, insensitive, fanatical, extreme, thrill seeker

Expressive                    Talkative, wordy, dominates conversation, poor listener

Flexible                         Messy, disorganized, indecisive

Forgiving                      Lenient, unable to take a stand for right, people pleaser

Frank                            Lacks tact, unloving, not compassionate, insulting,

Friendly                        People pleaser, compromising, avoids being alone

Frugal                          Stingy, selfish, judgmental

Generous                    Wasteful, gullible, lavish

Grateful                        Manipulative, flatterer

Honest                         Blunt, brutal, shares too much, insensitive

Hospitable                  Cliquish, butters people-up

Humble                        Self-effacing, shy, embarrassed, lacks initiative, lacks

Independent                Uncooperative, rebellious, aloof, self-centered

Loyal                            Possessive, unable to stand for right, too easily influenced

Neat                             Perfectionist, inflexible, unwilling to share, holds back

Objective                     Insensitive, uncaring, lacks enthusiasm, critical

Optimistic                   Unrealistic, naïve, foolish

Patient                        Lenient, unwilling to confront

Persuasive                 Manipulative, pushy, demanding

Punctual                      Intolerant of lateness, impatient, critical

Resourceful                Proud, manipulative, getting around limits

Sensitive                    Touchy, easily offended, moody

Thorough                    Meticulous, indecisive, hesitant

Click here for Step 3: Solution – Name and Define Each Solution

Excerpt from Eight Tools for Effective Parenting by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN. Used with permission.

comments powered by Disqus

iSpecialist Products

iMOM Recommends
© 2014 Family First. All Rights Reserved. Family First, All Pro Dad, iMOM, and Family Minute with Mark Merrill are registered trademarks.