What's Happening in Character?

How to Raise a Good Human in a Digital World

Posted by Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media on Thu, Aug 17, 2017 @ 09:08 AM

As parents, we have many hopes for our kids. We want them to grow up to live happy, successful lives. We hope they'll find love, maybe have kids of their own, and pursue their dreams. But at the bottom of all these wishes is the hope that our kid turns into a decent human being -- someone who is kind, respectful, and honest.

How do you bolster these strengths as well as teach key skills such as teamwork, communication, and perseverance? For the most part, kids will learn these things by following your example and through experience gained at school and in their communities. But media is another entry point. Since movies, TV shows, books, video games, and social media are such a huge part of kids' lives, it makes sense that kids can learn important lessons about character through media.

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Raising Kids with Character

Posted by Colton Qualls on Thu, Aug 10, 2017 @ 09:08 AM

 I interned with Character.org the summer after earning my bachelor’s degree. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to be, “when I grew up.” To be honest, I still don’t (If anyone has any suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comment section below). 

Before coming to intern with this organization, I told my advisor that I was looking into nonprofits, advocacy and education. This process lead me to character.org. When I started working there, I had my reservations. I remember thinking something along the lines of, “Character Education? What kind of feel-good, hippy malarkey is this? All we need in schools is reading, writing, and arithmetic.” However, coming right out of college, I realized that any job experience is a job experience any way you slice it, and I was happy not  running a weed eater all summer for the first time since I was sixteen.

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Workplace Character: A tangible goal

Posted by Oksanna Wildrick on Thu, Aug 3, 2017 @ 09:08 AM

Throughout my life so far I have often thought about my dream job. When I was in elementary school my dream job was being an art teacher, and my classroom would be covered in projects, colors and designs. I dreamed up how the classroom would be set up, what everyone would call me and how happy I would be. When I got into middle school my dream job was to be a history teacher. I thought of certain areas of history I would focus on and class trips that we could take. In high school my dream job was to be a photographer. I would travel all over the world taking photos and selling them to places like National Geographic. When I got into college my dream job was a place where I would have my own office, at a company I loved, that would give me travel opportunities.

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Tips to Help Your Kids with Honesty

Posted by Michele Borba on Thu, Jul 27, 2017 @ 09:07 AM

                                                                    Let’s be honest: nearly all kids—from tots to teens—stretch the truth and for all sorts of reasons: avoid punishment, make themselves look or feel better, get out of a task, keep their friend out of trouble, and start lying as young as two or three. Occasional lying is an almost expected part of child development, but whether dishonesty becomes a habit depends largely on how we respond to that lie. Statistics show we may not be doing such a good job. 

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Topics: family

Character Development Through Sport

Posted by Sarah Pickens on Thu, Jul 20, 2017 @ 09:07 AM


Soccer has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. From playing on recreational youth teams, to college, and now to my job today, soccer has been there.

While learning the fundamentals of the game was the objective, I also learned there was much more to soccer than the physical skill set. Soccer taught me sportsmanship and how to work on a team. It taught me how to handle unexpected challenges and use critical thinking to evaluate the situation. It even taught me to reach for water when I might have grabbed a soda.

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Topics: sports, Youth Sports

Becoming a Better Player Through Character

Posted by Katie Miller on Thu, Jul 13, 2017 @ 09:07 AM

Last month, I began interning at Character.org as a way for me to gain independence and a sense of professionalism in the workplace. My father worked here before I was born and currently works as an elementary school principal, so he knows firsthand how character influences student academic achievement and development. Because of this, my dad instilled in me the importance of treating others the way I want to be treated.
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In the Middle: 4 Tips for Parents

Posted by Sheril Morgan on Thu, Jun 15, 2017 @ 08:06 AM

Parenting might have one of the longest job descriptions one may ever hold with the least amount of pay. In fact it costs a great deal financially, emotionally and spiritually. There is no award. There is no destination. One sometimes feels like you have to wait until the end of your life time to see the end result of your work. It seems though, that I don’t have to wait until my end to see the fruits of my labor, maybe you don’t either. Together, let’s look at parenting right smack dab in the middle.

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Topics: Parenting

How Parents Can Help Kids Learn From Lapses in Character

Posted by Phyllis L. Fagell on Thu, Jun 8, 2017 @ 11:06 AM

Years ago, my then one-year-old son Ben played with a ball popper during playgroup. His friend Brooke found the same toy appealing and was displeased. She couldn’t form sentences yet, but she let Ben know his turn was up and the toy was rightfully hers. She babbled loudly right in his face for a full minute without stopping for air, then grabbed the toy. As my son drooled and looked at her wide-eyed, her mother sighed. “I think I’m in for it,” she told me. “I love her toughness, but my biggest fear is that she’ll grow up to be a mean girl.”

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Topics: Parenting

10 Ways To Raise Kids To Care: Simple Ways Parents Can Help Today’s ME Generation Learn to Be Kind

Posted by Michele Borba on Thu, Jun 1, 2017 @ 09:06 AM

Empathy is the ability to identify with and feel for another person. It’s the powerful quality that halts violent and cruel behavior and urges us to treat others kindly. Empathy emerges naturally and quite early, which means our children are born with a huge built-in advantage for success and happiness.

Though children are born with the capacity for empathy, it must be nurtured or it will remain dormant. And there lies the problem: studies show that American teens today are 40 percent less empathetic than they were thirty years ago. That’s a dangerous trend for many reasons. First, it hurts our kids’ academic performance, relationships and can lead to bullying behaviors. Also, it correlates with more cheating and less resilience. And once children grow up, a lack of empathy hampers their ability to collaborate, innovate and problem-solve—all must-have skills for life-long success.

But there’s good news for parents. The latest science shows that empathy can be taught and nurtured. My new book, UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me-World (Simon & Schuster) pinpoints not only the forces causing the empathy crisis but also a framework for parenting that yields the results we all want: successful, happy kids who also are kind, moral, courageous and resilient. Here are ten simple ways that we can teach our kids to care about others and boost their empathy from UnSelfie, which offers over 500 simple ways.

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Topics: Borba Michele, empathy, Kindness,, Parenting

Advice to Graduates in 2017

Posted by Rebecca Sipos on Thu, May 25, 2017 @ 09:05 AM

One of the things I always liked about teaching is that each year brings a beginning and a closure. Most jobs don’t have that; days and years tend to run together, with varying projects, perhaps, but no ceremonial starts and stops. Of course, for education, the biggest ceremony of all is graduation. 

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Topics: core values, graduation, Sipos Becky ,