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Our school does a great character development program.  Every class we talk for a few minutes about leadership, respect, self-control, discipline, or honesty.  This is a great way for your kids to hear about these vital skills they need to develop over the span of their lives.  I say skill because they are definitely things that can be improved over time.  A great example is discipline.  In the Willpower Instinct, Kelly McGonigal explains the difference between I will power and I wont power.  I will power is basically your discipline skill, how well when you decide to do something important that takes action you can follow through.  I wont power is your self control, when you decide not to do something how well you follow through.  These two concepts can be tricky for kids because how you describe it in your head can change which skill you are exercising.

My dog is fat, I need to take him for more walks.  In Rancho Bernardo that should not be a problem,  but there is a problem, I don’t like getting out of bed.  That is my I will power.  Examples like this are easier for kids to get.  Not so easy is something like eating healthy.  This technically takes I will(eat healthy) and I wont(not eat junk) power at the same time.  Is it no wonder we struggle with health when we have to exercise both all day long to stay healthy?

Teaching kids these concepts early helps them to develop them.  It makes it so they understand it is a skill that can be improved.  We gamify the cards by offering rewards for their completion, insuring they are working their way through them.  Kids want rewards for their achievements, they can’t think long-term, which is exactly what discipline is.  So you rewards them till they develop habits, then it is much easier for them to see the benefits of their actions.