What Is Character? How Is It Formed?

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[pic]What Is Character? How Is It Formed?
Character is who we really are. It's what we do when no one is looking. It' s the accumulation of thoughts, values, words and actions. These become the habits that comprise our character. That character determines our destiny. A person of character thinks right and does right according to core universal values that define the qualities of a good person: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. The CHARACTER COUNTS! Coalition calls these the Six Pillars of Character. Whatever we call them, though, our role as character developers is to guide young people's thoughts, words, actions and habits toward these values, which all people share, regardless of other differences. The family is the primary character-building force in a child's life, and character education is a major family obligation. It's a parent's job to help our kids engage the world with as much trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship as possible. This challenge becomes more manageable by taking a simple approach and involving the full community in sending a common message about the standards of good character. It also helps to identify other major character influences in anyone's life: • people we admire

• people who spend time with us
• reactions we observe
• goals
• expectations
• games
• friends
• life experiences
• stories we hear
• books we read
• words we hear
• music we hear
• TV shows and movies

Traditionally, in psychology, psychiatry, and psychoanalysis, the term “character” has been used to refer to constellations or configurations of behavioral traits: “Anal characters” are said to be compulsive and perfectionistic; “hysterical characters” are described as histrionic; “passive-aggressive characters” show anger covertly by withholding; “narcissistic characters” are excessively self-centered; “borderline characters” form chaotic and primitive...
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