COMMENTARY 784.1: What You Do Is What You’ll Get

If you want to help your children do well in life there are a few things you can do. A high proportion of high achievers had two things in common:

First, there were lots of books in their homes and a great emphasis on reading;

Second, there was a family tradition of regularly eating dinner together.

Filling a house with books surrounds children with endless and varied opportunities and challenges to explore and learn. Books provide knowledge and the seeds of wisdom and great stories teach about morality and character.

Eating dinner together assures that parents have an opportunity to participate in their kids’ day-to-day lives and help shape the way they think and react. Coordinating schedules so that the family eats together often requires a conscious effort to elevate family time above other things and the effort itself instills in children a sense of belonging.

But we can do more than promote reading and family discussions to offset all the bad influences our kids are exposed to. Remember, everything we do to or in front of our children matters; what we allow, what we encourage, and what we do ourselves teaches our children how to live and conveys powerful messages about values.

So, be sensitive as to what you say and how you say it, what you read and what you watch on TV. Be especially careful in the way you handle relationships and deal with emotions like disappointment, anger and frustration because what you do is what you’ll get.

This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.

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