Peggy Adkins, a talented CHARACTER COUNTS! trainer, tells the story of when she adopted a cat. Each of the cat’s original owners was interviewed, and when Peggy finally got the animal, she had to sign a document that listed 23 things to do and 17 things not to do to raise a happy, healthy feline.
Over the next several months, she received phone calls to confirm that her family was doing what they were supposed to do and refraining from doing what they weren’t supposed to do.
As the mother of two adopted children, Peggy marveled at the fact that she got better training and follow-up about her cat than her children. Although raising happy, healthy, decent children is vastly more complicated and important than raising pets, there’s no manual for child-raising, not even a list of dos and don’ts.
To make her point in her presentations, she uses Play-Doh in different sizes and colors, pointing out that, like children, no two pieces are alike and each one can be molded into infinitely unique shapes.
“Indent it slightly with your finger,” she demonstrates. “Touch it with your fingernail. Press it against your arm. Notice that every hair leaves a mark. Now press it against the Sunday comics; it will mirror the pictures. And if you roll it on a table, all kinds of bits and particles become embedded in the substance, almost impossible to remove.
“That’s what makes parenting so important and difficult. Everything kids touch makes an impression.”
This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.