fostering character development the role of parent involvement
Oct 17 2023

Fostering Character Development at Home: The Role of Parent Involvement

Positive Action Team
A child's connection to their family runs deep, with their roots firmly anchored in the rich soil of their home life. Indeed, family is children’s primary model of morals and values: the good and bad, the positive and negative, significantly influencing character development.

Parents, as children’s first love and heroes, play the most important role in building their children’s character. During the formative stage of childhood, children naturally look up to them as models of behavior. For them, parents can never do wrong.

Indeed, the role of parents in molding a child's character is invaluable. The values you instill in them during their formative years will lay the foundation for the adults they'll become. Parental involvement goes far beyond providing for their basic needs; it's about creating a nurturing environment where they can learn to be kind, compassionate, and responsible.

The Importance of Parental Involvement

As a parent, you understand, most of all, that you are the center of your child’s early childhood experiences. Everything you do and say influences their view of the world and their understanding of social interactions. Your attention, kindness, and sensitivity toward their emotions are the foundation of their character.

But it's not enough to only recognize your influence; you must act on it. Parental involvement in character-building isn't a passive endeavor. You need to actively engage in every aspect of your child's childhood life in order to instill the concept of good and bad, promote positive habits, and build their character.

Consider this: parents who model emotional support raise children who are not only emotionally supportive themselves but also sensitive to the feelings of others. When you, as a parent, demonstrate empathy, understanding, and compassion towards your child, they learn how to extend these virtues to others.

It's not always straightforward, however. While parents understand the importance of teaching their children moral behavior, they often find themselves asking, "What values should I instill in my children? How should I guide them to act in morally ambiguous situations?" If only parenting comes with a manual, everything will be easier for moms and dads.

This is where Positive Action steps in to offer you evidence-based family kits and parenting classes designed to assist in overcoming the challenges that come with parenthood. Our program is tailored to improve parent-child communication, strengthen family relationships, and promote positive behavior within the entire family.

Let’s take a look at three of our research-backed family and parenting programs, and learn why you should pick them:

Family Kit

Supportive parenting and a positive family environment are most effective in fostering children’s healthy character growth. Parents can build a healthy family life for their children with Positive Action’s family kit. With this effective tool, parents can introduce their children to core values that can strengthen their character.

Family Kit product image

This kit contains 42 engaging lessons and each can be completed in just 30-45 minutes. Each lesson is also customizable, so you can incorporate it easily into your family’s bonding activities. With its customizable nature, you can tailor the lessons to suit your schedule and choose the specific values or topics to teach for the day.

Inside the family kit, you will find a:

  • Family Kit Spiral Bound Manual
  • Secondary Replacement Stories booklet
  • Certificate of Completion
  • Game board, posters, worksheets, and more.

Family Classes

Setting a good example and being a positive parent all the time isn’t easy. Stress can pile up and manifest in negative language and behavior. While this is normal within families, it’s important to remember that children are highly perceptive and can pick up unhealthy emotional expressions.

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To help maintain a positive family environment, parents can learn how to reduce and deal with stress together through Positive Action’s Family Classes. These classes are comprehensive and are used with the Family Kit. There are seven sessions to these, and each one covers the Thoughts-Actions-Feelings Circle, Positive Action philosophy, and the basics of the six Positive Action units.

This curriculum for families includes:

  • Materials for 10 families
  • 1 Children Sessions Instructor's Manual with Instructor's Materials
  • 1 Adolescents Sessions Instructor's Manual with Instructor's Materials
  • 1 Parents Sessions Instructor's Manual with Instructor's Materials
  • 1 Family Together Wrap-Up Sessions Instructor's Manual with Instructor's Materials
  • 1 Coordinator's Guide Folder (master copies, Getting Started Booklet, more)
  • Child materials (activity booklets and more)
  • Adolescent materials (activity booklets and more)
  • Parent materials (activity booklets and more)
  • Family Together Wrap-Up Materials (activity sheets and more)
  • 30 student text booklets
  • 21 full-color posters
  • 11 Family Kits

Parenting Classes Kit

Realistically speaking, raising a child can be surprising, confusing, and, most of all, challenging. No parent has it all figured out, that’s why Positive Action is here to help.

Parenting Classes Kit product image

Positive Action offers parenting classes to new parents who want to lead their families effectively and create a positive impact on their children’s lives. In these classes, instructors guide parents on how to navigate the challenges of parenthood, how to strengthen family relationships and model positive behavior at home, among others.

Parenting Classes Kit is complete with:

  • Materials for 10 families
  • 1 Parents Sessions Instructor's Manual with Instructor's Materials
  • 1 Parenting Sessions Coordinator's Guide Folder (master copies, Getting Started Booklet, more)
  • Parent materials (activity booklets and more)
  • 9 full-color posters
  • 11 Family Kits

Strategies for Building Character at Home

  1. Listen and Be Present for Your Child

    Active listening allows each family member to express themselves honestly. This practice fosters empathy and emotional understanding, which can lead to resolving problems more effectively and building trustworthy relationships.

    Families that not only model but actively promote active listening play a valuable role in nurturing the character and emotional development of their children. They equip children with essential life skills such as positive communication, emotional management, and self-honesty, all of which are core values that empower children to thrive in school and their personal lives.

  2. Respond Positively to Their Emotional Needs

    Emotions can be confusing and overwhelming, especially at a young age. If bottled up or not properly managed, they can manifest into negative behaviors. This is why understanding and responding positively to your children’s emotional needs is highly important.

    When families are supportive of children's emotional needs, they create a safe and secure environment where children feel understood and accepted. As a parent, you should talk your children through their emotions, and let them know that it is normal to feel this way. This is an opportunity for you to guide your children and teach them healthy coping mechanisms.

    Otherwise, children will grow to enable their emotions to overpower them and influence their actions instead of upholding their morals. To assist them, it is most helpful if you model emotional regulation and empathy at home so your little ones can follow.

    When dealing with their emotions, keep in mind your important role as parents in building your child’s character. Your response to your and their emotional needs will leave a lasting impact on the way they understand themselves and their interactions with others.

  3. Teach Them How to Deal With Their Big Feelings

    After you provide emotional support to your children, empower them to manage their emotions positively. This will enable them to express their feelings healthily and make constructive and moral decisions moving forward.

    First, introduce your children to various emotions such as anger, fear, and discouragement. This will allow them to identify their emotions and their underlying causes. With this understanding, they can better respond to their feelings.

    Next, educate your children about the process of how emotions arise. Teach them that emotions start with thoughts, so if they have negative thoughts and engage in negative actions, they will likely experience negative emotions. Conversely, if they shift their thoughts to positive ones and engage in positive actions, they will experience positive emotions.

    Once children grasp this process, guide them in managing their thoughts and actions. It is helpful for you and the whole family to practice positive thinking at home, so your children can catch up. For instance, if your child feels scared about going to school, help them cultivate positive thoughts and suggest positive actions to ease their anxiety.

    Remember, when children better regulate their emotions, they can think better, relate with others, and practice empathy. Feeling for others makes them less likely to engage in impulsive or destructive behaviors and are more inclined toward making thoughtful and compassionate choices.

  4. Teach Them Responsibility and Encourage Independence

    Parents are aware of the challenges and setbacks that are inevitable in life; children have yet to learn them.

    It is your job as parents to prepare children physically, emotionally, and intellectually for the rollercoaster ride of the ever-changing world and the demands it presents.

    Why? What is its importance to their character?

    Truth is, the ups and downs of life can pose a tough challenge to an individual's morals and values. Hardships and feelings of discouragement tend to make it difficult for anyone to uphold what they believe is good and positive.

    So, teach your children responsibility and independence early on. Through this, you instill a sense of accountability and integrity, which will keep them honest, respectful, and kind.

    You can cultivate this at home by assigning simple, age-appropriate household tasks. Children aged 3 to 5 can be responsible for making their beds, picking up their toys, and cleaning their own plates. Similarly, older children from 6 to 10 years old can take out the trash, water the plants, and care for pets.

  5. Promote Healthy Habits

    Habits are the small decisions and actions a person constantly makes and performs every day. Over time, these habits accumulate and transform into behaviors that significantly shape a person’s overall health and development. 

    Imagine this: a child likes to laze about and neglect responsibilities. At first, these habits seem harmless until they begin to affect other people. Without intervention from parents, these can develop into disrespectful behavior that can taint the child’s character.

    Family involvement is highly important in breaking these unhealthy habits among children. Your active participation in every aspect of your child’s life is crucial in educating them about positive choices.

    Take, for instance, your child who has developed a habit of making up stories. What should you do? Pay attention to your child. Engage them in a healthy conversation about the consequences of not being truthful to themselves and others.

    Initiating healthy habits within the household becomes the responsibility of families. They can take charge by implementing a consistent bedtime routine for young ones, effectively managing children's time for leisure activities, school assignments, and chores, and preparing nutritious snacks for children.

  6. Model Positive Behavior

    “It takes a village to raise a child” is an African proverb that conveys the collective responsibility of a community for the upbringing and development of children.Teachers, neighbors, and community members all contribute to a child’s growth, well-being, and character. Every member passes on wisdom, provides guidance, and most importantly, models positive behavior for the children to imitate.

    This adage has been widely embraced as a universal concept, recognizing the fact that children imitate the behavior of adults.

    Families should keep this proverb in mind when raising children and nurturing their growth. They should see themselves as the first village that a child encounters and their actions serve as children’s behavior guidelines.

    Every family member, from parents and grandparents to siblings, must take on the responsibility of being a positive role model for their children. For instance, parents and siblings can demonstrate amicable conflict resolution. Grandparents can teach about empathy and practice kindness toward others.

    In this way, families create a safe, positive, and nurturing home environment for their young ones. It is within these daily experiences that children develop social and emotional intelligence. Through these positive interactions, children learn to integrate them into their own engagements with others.

Overcoming Challenges

Struggles of Children to Express Their Emotions

Children also deal with a lot of pressure: the need to fit in with peers, excel academically, and meet the expectations of their families. These pressures build negative thoughts and feelings in children that parents may not be aware of.

So, as parents, pay attention to your children and avoid overlooking the challenges that they may be silently grappling with. Don't leave them to hold these heavy burdens alone, otherwise, it will take its toll on their mental and emotional well-being. This can result in behavior problems.

Reduce their stress by actively engaging with their lives and maintaining open lines of communication. Establish a supportive environment where your children can be honest about their feelings. However, they may hesitate to share due to fears of judgment, consequences, or feeling misunderstood. Initiate the conversation to encourage them to open up.

To do this, share your own instances of emotional challenges and how you overcame them. Sharing these intimate details of your life can bridge an emotional understanding between you and your kids. They will also feel less alone and understand that everyone faces difficulties. This will enhance their relationship skills such as empathy and social awareness.

Balancing Parenthood and Other Responsibilities

In this fast-paced life, it can be challenging to strike a balance between work and family. It’s understandable, especially for parents juggling work and household duties. However, finding ways to bond with your child is essential for their well-being. It may involve making choices and setting boundaries to ensure ample quality time together. 

In spending quality time with children, don't be unproductive and inattentive in which you're physically present but mentally absent. Create meaningful memories with them, so as to strengthen family relationships and support their social and emotional growth.

Remember, there is no better way to get to know your child and understand what they are going through than being present for them and spending quality time together. Quality time means being actively engaged in a child’s life, both physically and emotionally.

Instilling Discipline in Children

Self-discipline requires consistency, which makes it one of the challenges of parenthood. Consistently enforcing rules and consequences is not always easy. It necessitates that you hold your child accountable for their actions every time, which can be tiring, and at times, it may feel as though you're constantly at odds with them.

Self-discipline, however, is vital in building your child's character and behavior. It helps them remain true to their values and empowers them to uphold their moral standards. To teach your children self-discipline, establish and enforce household rules and routines.

Household rules and routines help children understand clear boundaries and what is expected of them. These specific guidelines for behavior, chores, and responsibilities not only cultivate self-control but also teach children how to make informed decisions.

Incorporating regular daily routines like bedtime rituals and study schedules enables children to practice time management and build positive habits. These routines help children develop crucial self-management skills and establish healthy habits that serve as a strong foundation for their future success and fulfillment.

How Can Positive Action Help

The family is the first school of virtue, and children look to their parents as role models. By embodying the virtues you wish to instill, you set the example. The way you model these traits will imprint on them indelibly.

At Positive Action, we understand the importance of character development and the role that parents play in it. We're here to assist you in the journey of parenthood through our evidence-based family and parenting classes and kits. Together, let's create positive changes in your home life, so you can support your child's positive character development. Join us in this mission of shaping tomorrow's leaders with character.