Character growth–helping your child face tough stuff and learn from it–is a top priority of good parenting.
As parents, we provide food, shelter, medical help–we even provide life insurance to care for them after we are gone. But how much of a priority do we place on helping them build character?
Now that my kids are 18,21, and 24, I see that so clearly. All three of them have strong characters; they are good people who love God and family, and I am deeply proud of each one.
But it didn’t come easy. Character growth comes through lots of pain and struggle and challenge. And for our family, that character growth came through sports.
I’ve begun working on my first book and as I’ve been reading over years of notes and memories, I am struck by the fact that my kids are who they are largely because of the struggles and challenges they’ve gone through in their sports. A lot of tears. A lot of questions. A lot of “I want to quit.” A lot of victories.
It is your job, as a parent, to be sure your child has plenty of character growth opportunities. It doesn’t have to be in sports. It can be in music, art, drama….anything that challenges your child. Get him involved in activities that do not always come easy. Encourage him to do something that takes him out of his comfort zone at times and forces him fight for success and rewards.
Don’t just let your kid settle for doing what is easy, doing what takes no effort. Let him be part of an activity that will test and stretch his character, and make him stronger.
You and your kid decide what that activity should be. Then dive in and together, you will both grow through the adventure.