Five things my mom taught me about character

As we head into the month of May, Education Week, Children’s Mental Health Week and our upcoming Character Education celebrations, I was reminded of some of the life lessons my mom shared with me as a child. Yes, those annoying ‘Mom-isms’ that I said I would never use that I now find myself repeating to my son.

  1. If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. (respect, integrity, empathy)
    Think before you speak (or act) – will you regret saying it later? Put yourself in that person’s shoes and think of what they might be going through before you make a negative comment.
  2. If all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you? (courage, responsibility)
    Don’t give in to peer pressure. Not everyone else is doing it (whatever ‘it’ may be)! If your friends are pressuring you do to something you’re not comfortable with, it’s time to find new friends.
  3. Don’t participate in gossip. (courage, integrity, optimism, honesty)
    Tell the truth and don’t get wrapped up in spreading gossip or participating in bullying. You can change (or save) a life. Think about how the person on the receiving end of the negative comments might feel.
  4. Stand up straight. (responsibility, inclusiveness)
    Be proud of who you are – stand up for your passions and the people you care about, and make a life you can be proud of. Invite others to join you if they are being excluded from activities. Become a leader, even if it’s a quiet one!
  5. Use your manners. (respect, caring, cooperation)Say ‘please’ and ‘thank you,’ hold open the door for others and respect your elders.

I’m grateful for a mother who taught me the importance of the above – thanks Mom and Happy Mother’s Day this Sunday! Say thanks to the mother figure in your life—whoever she (or he) might have been who played a defining role in making you the person you are today.

And let’s remind ourselves, our students and our children of the importance of living, teaching and role modelling character attributes this month and all year long.

~ Melanie Rumley, Communications Specialist

Character Education

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