To view this page ensure that Adobe Flash Player version 11.1.0 or greater is installed.

DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET WHAT IS GOOD CHARACTER? and make good decisions. It is key to both individual success and a smoothly functioning society. Self-​discipline is an extremely important developmental skill for children, enabling successes for them just as much as it does for adults. Young children need self-​discipline to develop physically, control their bodies, and manage basic emo- tions and urges. Adults can support infants in the development of self-​discipline by providing secure, loving care and environments where they can experience feelings of safety and self-​worth. Feeling safe and valuable frees the brain to focus on growth. We can support toddlers and twos by providing clear rules, limits, and ex- pectations. Children yearn for the structure and safety of clear expectations. We can also guide children in developing self-​discipline by suggesting strategies and creating situations that facilitate their successes. For example, young children are often tantalized by electronic devices, such as phones and computers. We can make an effort to keep these devices out of their sight, thus limiting a very difficult temptation, and we can make more appropriate toys available to engage them. Caregivers can also intervene as necessary when children are struggling or unable to control their behavior. If we see a toddler is about to knock all the toys off the shelf, we can step in to redirect her attention toward more constructive behaviors. We can also praise children and provide plenty of positive feedback when they do exhibit self-​control. Perhaps above all else, we can role-​model self-​discipline in the daily choices and activities with which we engage. Self-​discipline is not typically achieved in a once-​and-​for-​all manner. It is more often a practice to which we all must dedicate and rededicate ourselves throughout our lives. Experiencing early les- sons and successes in self-​discipline can create momentum for the practice in adulthood. Why Teach Good Character? We support character development in children because we want to help them be successful in the world, and we know that having fine, upstanding character will help them toward that goal. We also want to raise children who will contribute to a better future and a healthy world. The lessons of good character are at the core of creating a better place for all of us to live. Our world would continue to improve if all people were more respectful and caring, honest and responsible, and dedicated to making good choices. We can’t necessarily change the world, but we can change one small piece—​our interactions with the young children in COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL 13