We make many decisions in our daily lives, and we hope they are the right ones. As parents, we hope that we’ve given our children the skills they need to make good decisions. When we apply truth to our daily decisions, it becomes wisdom.
There are several points we should all remember about making decisions. For example, every decision is important as each contributes to our character. Every decision has consequences and a cost. Every decision offers a lesson.
As parents, we can help our children become more comfortable with making decisions by offering them choices. Even letting a child choose whether to wear the red shirt or the blue one builds his decision-making skills—an invaluable ability to teenagers whose choices have greater consequences.
Owls have been associated with wisdom since the time of the ancient Greeks. Owls use their keen senses to gather information, making them excellent hunters. A great horned owl’s ears are positioned asymmetrically on either side of its head. This allows it the owl to pinpoint the exact location of a sound by noting when it was heard in each ear.
Owls also have extremely large eyes—so large that they don’t move within their sockets. Instead, the great horned owl can turn its head in an almost-complete circle, giving it many different perspectives. The large eyes also allow the owl to see objects in near-total darkness. Using both their hearing and sight to gather as much information as possible, owls are able to make accurate decisions, avoid danger, and hunt prey more successfully.
Each choice we make works together to form a person’s character, much as tiny pieces of stained glass fit together to form a large masterpiece. Try this version of “stained glass” to illustrate the concept. You will need wax paper, old crayons, a dish towel, a cheese grater, peeler, or crayon sharpener, an iron, and tape.
Allow your child to choose crayon colors and use the grater, peeler, or shapener to create crayon shavings. Spread the shavings on one piece of wax paper and then place the second sheet on top. Cover the wax paper with a smooth dish towel and with adult supervision, iron the two pieces together. Trim and tape the edges for a finished look.
If desired, add a favorite quote, character trait, or picture to the center of the stained glass. Building character is like building a stained glass window—it happens one decision at a time.
Putting Character First
The Character First! Project is inspired by the work of the Character Training Institute, a non-profit organization based in Oklahoma City. Character First! information is used by permission. Call 405-815-0001 for Character First! resources or visit CharacterFirst.com.