How to Instill Elements of Good Character into your Teen

 Instilling the fundamentals of good character into your teen can be of vital importance; it could have a significant lifetime impact on your teen’s life.  It has been found that in the long run, success in every aspect of one’s life, be it personal or professional, it is one’s good character that counts more than the acquisition of anything else.  

Character plays a critical role in shaping a person’s life. A person’s true character and worth is gauged by his/her consistent behavior every day, in all situations, at all times and with all those he/she comes in contact with. Understandably, all well-meaning  parents, look upon it as their responsibility; they truly want to instill the elements of good character into their teen; but few know how. 

 Here are some guidelines to help you instill the elements of good character into your teen’s life:

~ By your good example

Remember that you are your teen’s best role model. You as a parent can demonstrate the value and importance of honesty by being forthright in all your interactions and dealings. If you hide things from your teen or refrain from always speaking the truth or speak truth only when it suits your own purpose, you could run the risk of sending the same wrong message to your teen.

~ By inculcating honesty

Honesty is the foundation of good character. It is vital that you inculcate this habit in your child right from the early development stages. This important character trait can help your teen to earn confidence and trust from his/her superiors and colleagues in the adult years. An honest person’s motives are seldom questionable as he/she is easily trusted and generally well respected by friends, colleagues and others.

~ By enforcing discipline

Your primary role as a parent is to make your teen responsible for his/her behavior and actions. To do this successfully you will need to enforce discipline and be strong; tough love works when you consistently set limits; make sure that he/she experiences the consequence of behavior without you running in to rescue each time. Avoid accepting lame excuses or jumping in to do things for him/her-no matter how much you want your teen to succeed.

~ By inspiring respect

Every parent desires and deserves respect and so do you. You can inspire your teen to be respectful by demonstrating courteous behavior in all your relationships. Graciousness in behavior is timeless and should always be encouraged. To politely address and greet elders, is the hallmark of good character and should be a natural line of behavior for your teen. Building respect, builds character; in turn, this character trait will earn your teen goodwill from all those he/she associates with in later years.

~ Encourage compassion

Raising children to be compassionate from an early age is an excellent start to character-building process. Today, in a world ridden with violence and cruelty, compassion is the mark of a person’s good character. Kindness and thoughtfulness is more than simply learning to say please and thank you. It is rising above one’s needs and wants in society and voluntarily helping those in need.

~ Conclusion

There is nothing more powerful than learning life’s important lessons through the influence of parents. You, as a determined and committed parent, can make the best use of the teachable moments you have with your teens.

As Stephen Covey wisely puts it, “In the final analysis what we are as parents, communicates far more eloquently than anything we say or do. Make instilling good character in your teen your next personal goal

References: Parenting Teens with love & logic by Foster Cline & Jim Fay

                      7 habits of highly effective teens by Sean Covey