- Lauren Dungy
- Shaunti Feldhahn
- Tim and Darcy Kimmel
- Betsy Landers
- Dr. Walt Larimore
- Mark Merrill
- Joanne Miller
- Dr. Gary J. Oliver
- Kathy Peel
- Dr. Greg Smalley
- Dr. Scott Turansky
- Jill Savage
Articles by Dr. Scott Turansky
- Why Firmness Doesn't Require Harshness
- Why Fair Doesn't Mean Equal
- What's Your Child's Personality Type?
- Time Out or Take a Break ?
- Three Factors to Remember About Character Training
- The Value of Generosity
- The Unmotivated Child
- The Secret to Prompt Obedience
- The Secret to Helping Children to Do What’s Right
- The Secret to Constructive Discipline
- Teaching Children about Sex
- Taking a Break vs. Time Out
- Strong-willed Kids
- Some Suggestions for Dealing with Attention Deficit Disorder
- More Than Obedience
- How to Stop the Whining and Complaining
- How to Make Parenting Shifts
- How to Bookmark the Good Days in Parenting
- How to Avoid the Boxing Ring with Your Kids
- Honor one another – even your brothers and sisters!
- Honor Lessons
- Honor favor #9: Adopting others
- Honor favor #8: Helping others in conflict
- Honor favor #7: Speech
- Honor favor #6: Prayer
- Honor favor #5: Generosity
- Honor favor #4: Service
- Honor favor #3: Ministry
- Honor favor #2: Hospitality
- Honor favor #1: Modeling
- Honor Changes People
- Helping Children Deal with Their Anger
- Gratitude or Overindulgence?
- Emotions are Complex Tools for Communication
- Discipline - Run the Parenting Race
- Defibrillating Your Child's Heart
- Dealing With Anger in Children
- Character Training Step 6: Follow-up – Continue to Work on Solutions
- Character Training Step 5 Motivation – Inspire Change
- Character Training Step 4: Treatment – Provide Instructions for Working on the Solution
- Character Training Step 3: Solution – Name and Define Each Solution
- Character Training Step 2: How to Diagnose Strengths and Weaknesses
- Character Training Step 1: Observation – Recognize the Problem
- Character Training – A Systematic Approach
- Behavior: Getting to the Heart of It
- Attitudes – Bad to Good
- Affirming Effort Toward Right Behavior
- A Work In Progress
- 8 ways to prepare your children for dealing with tragedy
- 7 Ways to Teach Self-Control
Dr. Scott TuranskyDr. Scott Turansky offers moms practical, real-life advice for many of parenting’s greatest challenges. read bio
Character Training Step 3: Solution – Name and Define Each Solution
During the solution step, you determine the character qualities on which each child needs to work. Focus on the positive. One mom, thrilled to discover this step, said, "This is changing the way I relate to my son, Devin. I used to focus on the negative: 'Get your shoes. Clean your room. Where's your backpack? You left your bike out again?' Now I still have to discipline him, but I've used the character quality of organization to direct my discussion. I feel like I'm teaching him something for the future, not just complaining about the present."
Sometimes a number of character qualities would help your child in a particular area, but start with just one. Be careful not to try to change too much too quickly. (Some children can handle two character-development programs at the same time, but few can handle more than that without feeling overwhelmed.) Choose a name for the quality you want to work on, and then define it in a way that is easy for the child to understand. Don't use dictionary definitions; use working definitions. The name of this positive character quality and its definition will provide direction for your child and for you, so it's clear to you both what your child is working on.
Identifying a positive character quality gives each child something to work toward. Many children know their weaknesses all too well. They have become magnets for correction, and they know they disappoint themselves and others with their mistakes. Romans 5:4 says that building character produces hope, an important quality that each child desperately needs.
When you discuss this positive character quality, spend a few minutes giving the child a vision for why it's helpful. You might say, for example, "When you develop this quality in your life, you'll be more successful because…" A positive character quality gives your child a target to shoot for. Give him or her a vision for change by explaining the value of the particular character quality you'll be working on.
Sometimes people ask us for our working definitions of certain positive character qualities. Here are some definitions to get you thinking. They will also help you learn how to create your own working definitions.
When my son was twelve, my wife and I wanted to prepare him for the teen years by identifying nine character qualities that contribute to successful adolescence. We created what we call the "Teenage Challenge." We gave him a notebook listing those nine character qualities. We defined each quality in a way that he could understand, included a verse related to each quality for him to memorize, and gave him an activity or assignment to allow him to practice each one. The goal wasn't to develop those qualities in the weeks prior to his birthday, but to identify them for him so he could spend the next several years working on them.
Remember, you're not just dealing with behavioral changes; you're building character. Words such as "stop complaining" focus on behavior. "Gratefulness," on the other hand, is a character quality. A child who is having a hard time staying in bed after saying good night may need to work on self-discipline. Each solution simply identifies and defines the positive quality that will cause the negative behavior(s) to diminish.
Children often like the character-development plan because it gives them a positive way to work on problems they realize they have. Some children may resist the process, but after they see growth, they are often encouraged.
As you put the pressure on, your children develop perseverance that produces the character that results in hope. This process is not easy most of the time, but it works. We've watched hundreds of parents apply pressure in the right way to their children and see lasting results. Not only are the parents less frustrated, but the kids feel better about themselves, too. It's worth the work.
Definitions of Positive Character Qualities
Patience: waiting with a happy heart
Patience: giving others a little more time than I feel comfortable with
Humility: giving God and others credit for their work in my life
Humility: listening to others and rejoicing in their stories instead of having to tell my own
Flexibility: changing my plans to help others
Courage: taking a stand for what I know is right
Courage: doing something difficult even though it makes me feel uncomfortable
Resourcefulness: looking for ways to solve my own problems instead of bringing them to others
Resourcefulness: helping others to find solutions when they're stuck
Excerpt from Eight Tools for Effective Parenting by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN. Used with permission.comments powered by Disqus