Character involves thoughts, feelings and behaviors that result from ingrained principles and moral judgments, according to CITRS, a nonprofit education company focused on improving academic performance, virtuous behavior and citizenship in schools and other organizations. Because character plays a defining role in choices and overall performance, it's essential for teenagers to understand and develop positive character traits. You can help your teen build strong character, which can enable her to successfully navigate a variety of situations. Define character for your adolescent as a basis for character development. In simple terms, you can explain, "To demonstrate character, you should treat others in the way that you want them to treat you, as well as be honest, doing what you know in your heart is the right thing to do. You might say, "Developing strong character gives you self-respect and helps you earn respect from the people around you.
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Character-Building Activities for Teens
Shaping Character in Teens is Key to Building Resilience
People with strong core values make the greatest contributions, have the best sense of self, form the most secure and healthy relationships, and build the strongest communities. They are also happiest and often feel gratified and successful in life. People with strong character strengths are more resilient because they have the ability to return to a set of core values during trying times. We need people who know how to do the right thing, even when others are not looking. We need to prepare our youth with strong character strengths so they can lead us into the future.
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Building Good Character in Teens Matters
The teenage years are a time of self-discovery for most people, and this stage of life can be challenging for some youngsters. Teenagers tend to focus inwardly, so it may be beneficial to help them notice other things in life that are equally important. Use character-building activities for teenagers to make life lessons come alive. Give the teenagers certain scenarios in which they would have to make a complicated decision, and have them talk the situation through with you. For example, the hypothetical situation could be something such as the teenager sees a friend stealing and has to decide whether to tell.
Every new school year, we hear the same complaints from teachers: they are now asked to deal with disrespect, dishonesty, bullying, binge-drinking and the like, topics that in previous generations, were the parents' responsibility. The fallout from the recent Steubenville rape case illustrates how character issues -- even at private parties -- can affect schools and communities. The rape case may be an extreme example of character gone awry, but in all communities, as bullying, cyber-bullying, dating violence and teen cheating increase, the task for tweens and teens to be liked, fit in, grow up and succeed becomes more challenging. For 19 years, we have been involved in training more than 65, teens to build cultures of kindness, caring and respect, so-called character-development or "soft skills" that many employers say are key indicators of future success in the workplace and in life.