Build Character in Your Teen

I was recently reminded of the importance of developing character in our teenagers through the interaction I‘ve had with a young man who has been doing some work around the house for me.

Video: How to Develop Character in Teenagers

  • Chores Help Build Character. Here are some practical tips on chores.
  • Modeling Helps Build Character. Your teens will learn from what you do, not what you lecture on. Here’s a post I have written on modeling.

How can you build character in your teen?

Video Transcription


Thanks for joining me today. Today we’re going to talk about building character in teenagers. Jim Fay has a great CD called, Building Character in Teenagers. And I recently met a teenager at, just right into college kid, just 19 years old, that really exemplifies what Jim talks about in the CD on building character in teens. He is in baseball and he works his butt off in baseball. And all his life he’s been doing sports. But you know what else was combined with the sports was chores.

He was required every day to participate in the family’s chores. And he knows how to dig ditches, how to paint, how to clean, how to organize. And that all happened in early childhood, elementary, while he worked alongside his mom and dad. He combined their… his parents combined the effort, the hard work of sports and dedication with chores. So important to do both.

So often, we get our kids in sports and that’s all they do. And we’re all, we’re just watching and looking and driving and the chores go off to the side.

I really encourage you, combine chores and sports together and boy is there a great outcome with this. I love this kid. He works for me every week and he just rocks it. I really encourage you; check out the CD and get those principles going in your children.

Parents Must Establish Authority – Bus Monitor Bullied Part 2

In the previous post, I expressed my concern with the way the school district had not prepared their employee to handle these situations – then asked how parents can learn from this. With this popular news story, it is easy to fall into the trap of judging other people and their families – but instead, let’s take the opportunity to look at what we’ve seen in the media and focus on our own.

Parents Must Establish Authority

Another issue I’ve seen in this story is the response of one of the fathers. The comment from one of the fathers apologizing for his son and that it will take more than a punishment to fix this; it is professional help that his son needs. In my opinion, he is so far off! Yes, professionals are needed sometimes. But no matter what, it is the parent that needs to establish authority.

Here’s a question: After bringing the child to professional help, will his son respect the father’s words more in the future or will the father need to bring his son back to the professional? Chances are he will keep bringing his son back to the professional because children follow the perceived authority. Parents must establish authority so that their children have guides for their lives. Who will be around 24/7, the professional or the parent? Here is a good resource that outlines the value of perceived authority.

How can we teach our kids to respect authority?

  1. Model respect for others, especially those older than you.
  2. Consequence Disrespect. Be sure you are calm and consistent.
  3. Be aware that media is a parental influence. Here is a good book to help you understand the influence media has on your child.  The key is to point out for kids, teachable moments where a child has authority over a parent or when you see children showing disrespect to an adult. This is a good rule of thumb no matter what context you see it in, media or real life.

Are You Ready to be an Authoritative Parent?

I agree 100% with the Karen Klein’s comment that our children need to learn respect for adults and that it is the parents that need to teach it. The problem is that it takes time, being purposeful and good parenting tools to bring consistent consequences to children. Are you up for it? If you are reading this blog, I think you are. Love and Logic® has a lot of resources around this topic. Here are a few I like:

What are your ideas about how to teach kid’s respect? Do we need to get a professional involved?

What Type of Parent Are You?