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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET What Is Good Character? Two-year-old Becky had just become a big sister to new baby William. When she heard her new brother crying on his first afternoon at home, Becky ran to her room, grabbed her favorite stuffed animal, and brought it back to him. She ob- viously wanted to help and thought of sharing with him her own most precious, comforting object. Young children often amaze us by the caring and generosity they show. At other times, we know that they can be incredibly unaware of others’ needs and feelings, and selfish in their reactions and behaviors. Becky, the same child who so lovingly shared her beloved toy with her new brother, later that day took a crayon and “wrote” his name on his dresser. When her mom questioned how the red marks got there, Becky rolled her eyes in her brother’s direction and answered sharply, “That baby did it.” Within a day’s time, the same child demonstrated both unmistakable caring and seemingly spiteful dishonesty. As caregivers, we undoubtedly find ourselves observing the behaviors of chil- dren in our lives on a daily, if not constant, basis. We notice, feel concerned, and probably step up to reprimand when the behaviors are what we consider bad or hurtful. Alternatively, we may rejoice inwardly, feel pride, and praise children when we see positive, generous, or kind behaviors. We’re attuned to children’s behaviors in large part because it’s our job as caregivers to monitor and safeguard them. But most of us also watch and notice behaviors, looking for signs of each child’s inner character. We hope to see evidence of a strong and good character emerging. And we may fear and worry about any hints of less-than-fine character in a child. We look for signs of character as we naturally wonder and ponder about 3 COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL