That there are varied kinds of people in this world is not an unknown fact. Some we know as essentially bad people, exhibiting traits like selfishness or malice, while others we take to be good people because of the positive character traits they display, like humility or kindness. There is thus the black and white, with most people displaying specks of gray. It is essential to know the varied traits because it gives us the ability to observe people, understand them and thereby form an opinion about them. Which is an essential trait to develop if there are to be relationships formed.
In our daily lives, with our interactions with people in society, it makes us more adept at understanding them because we are aware of the varied traits. It is for this reason that teaching character traits becomes important. In the sections that follow, we will look into the varied details of how to ensure teaching about character traits in the best possible manner and why it is important.
Unless there is a clear understanding of the different character traits, there can be no distinction made between what is good and what is bad. Similarly, if one expects someone to develop good character traits, then it is essential that they be taught to them early on. A basic understanding of the different forms of personalities is important because it helps in understanding people, which then influences our relationships. As we get older and go out into the world, we learn to interact with varied people and thus learn to understand people. But for a child, these opportunities are not available yet. They thus have to be taught the different character traits and how to inculcate the 'good' among them.
More than anything else, these traits will form the basis of good behavior and values and become the crux of developing character in a person. This then becomes one of the best ways to help the children become better people.
Keys to Teaching
The reasons which guide the importance of teaching these traits has been dealt with, but how is one to go about managing the same? What are the ways in which these traits can be taught? Here are certain steps that will guide you in accomplishing this task.
Preparing a List
First, there has to be a character traits list to infer from. Have a thorough list prepared of the varied good character traits and the bad. This will give the teaching format a definition and will help the students distinguish between the bad traits and the good traits.
Selecting Good Traits
While putting forth a clear definition of both forms of character traits is important, what is equally important is the ability to draw a clear distinction between the two. What needs to be done is that a sifting of the good traits has to be put forth. These are the traits that you want the children to inculcate and that is why selecting the good from the bad is important.
Giving Live Examples
A simple listing of negative and positive character traits is not sufficient. What is more important is that there be live examples to drive the point home. This includes talking to them and helping them understand the different traits and then giving them examples that they can infer from. This can be done by screening animation films and making a distinction between which characters are good and those who are bad. This will give them a better understanding of the character traits and allow them to remember and recollect the traits better.
Be a Good Role Model
One of the most basic and highly effective ways of teaching character traits and inculcating the same in children is to be a good role model. Learn to follow these traits yourself and live them, so that when the children look up to you, they will know what is expected of them. If you tell them that they have to follow a trait, but you yourself don't follow it then they will not have the motivation to follow it either.
Exercises and Work Sheets
There are certain activities that can be undertaken which will provide a practical approach to inculcating these traits and driving them home. Here are some of the same.
→ Provide a work sheet which has certain situations written on it. These situations will feature people of different kinds. The objective of the exercise is for the kids to mark the character type - whether good or bad.
→ Give them a basic story line and 2-3 characters. Ask them to develop a story that etches good and bad characters. What are the traits that they would list for a good character and what would they list for a bad one.
→ Test their development of character and values by providing them with general situations and providing them with options. The answers that they give, will determine their progress. For example, someone drops their wallet without realizing it - what would they do.
→ Ask them to identify the good and bad characters by screening films or reading books to them.
Imparting positive character traits is important for ensuring a good character. With a study of the varied strategies that can be used for making this happen, here's hoping that you now have a clear understanding of the same and will be able to implement it well enough.