We’re almost to the end of our 25-day countdown!
I hope you’ve seen positive change in your own level of character health, as well as in the level of character evidenced in your children's lives. Today’s character quality goes all the way back to day one of our countdown. It is the character quality of initiative.
Without the initiative to change, you would have never begun this 25-day countdown. Way to go! Just by choosing to countdown, you demonstrated a commitment to initiating change in your life.
The dictionary defines initiative like this: The power or ability to begin or to follow through energetically with a plan or task. That’s exactly what you did by choosing to change your level of character this Christmas season. You began a plan to complete the task of character growth.
How can we teach our children to embrace initiative?
The answer lies in allowing them to fail. When we always step in to clear the way, destroy roadblocks, and ease their path, we are taking away the necessity of developing initiative. Conversely, when we are available to help, but slow to take over, our children will begin to initiate a problem solving plan all on their own.
If your children are used to you swooping in and solving all of their problems for them, you both may experience a steep learning curve in the initiative process. Instead of walking away, or refusing to help, may I offer you some advice? Use good questions!
When we ask our children good questions, we help them to self-initiate the answers to their problems. I’m not talking about loaded, “You know what to do,” questions, but rather, thought-provoking and stimulating dialogue questions. When we ask our children questions like: “What do you think the end result of your decision will look like?” we are helping them to be forward thinking and solution oriented.
Use the past 23 days as a teaching tool. Talk to your children about the initiative that was necessary to commit to counting down character for 25 days. Ask them what type of change would have occurred in your home if no one had taken the initial initiative.
As they begin to solve their own problems, our kids will get the concept. Taking initiative is actually fun when we see the positive results that come from solution oriented decisions. Praise their good decisions and help them learn from any bad choices.
The greatest lesson our children can learn about practicing initiative involves avoiding pitfalls. According to Proverbs 27, the wise man sees the danger ahead and takes the initiative to avoid that danger. Avoid moral danger yourself and encourage your children to take the initiative to be pitfall-avoiding believers!
Developing a character of initiative will build your children’s level of responsibility and it will strengthen their self-confidence-A win/win for everyone!