; window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'UA-6252405-9'); In the Mommy Trenches: Character is the Key - Book Review

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Character is the Key - Book Review

Character is the Key by Sara Dimerman, DIP.C.S., C Psych. Assoc.
Founder & Director – Parent Education Resource Centre

When I was offered this book to review I was actually very excited at the prospect. I am not one to normally read anything but escapist literature but this appealed to me. As some of you may know I have been struggling for some time with how to ensure that I am passing on those core values to my children.

The whole premise of this book is that our children need to develop important character attributes like honesty, integrity and fairness, that they need to be taught this not only in schools but at home. To do this, these character attributes must be modeled intentionally and taught by their parents.

On reading the list of top character values and examples, I was relieved to see that I did, in fact, model many of the essentials. I show responsibility every day by getting everyone up and getting them to school each day on time. I am honest. If someone gives me too much change, I pipe up right away. Perseverance, I sit and help E learn her abc’s every day. Things like that. Phew, okay that was a relief.

Then I started looking at the particular behaviours of each of my children and started to realize how much they sounded like me and not in a good way. I have long been afraid of some of the negative behaviour that goes on around home and wondered what damaging effect it may be having on my children. My husband and I have very stressful lives at the moment and this does not always translate well to patience with the children. It’s something that I have been having a tough time to get the better of.

I could not have been more ready for this book. What is great about it is that each chapter is not long, it gives plenty of examples to learn from and there is even a summary at the end of each chapter, so if your husband is not a reader you can just give him the highlights. I can tell you that my husband is gleaning a lot from this book just by my telling him a few key points and examples. This way he doesn’t get bogged down by reading buts gets the sense of it.

The book starts with getting you to identify and list your core values and beliefs, giving you some examples and points to discuss. Once that you have done that you can start looking at how to start modeling those beliefs, how to change even poor examples into teachable moments and start to focus on not just the moment but how to keep tomorrow in mind, not doing just what’s easier today.

The next stage of the books is outlining how to you and the family working together as a team, how to achieve more time together as a family, how to effectively conduct family meetings and setting out a family plan.

We have not worked our way all the way through this book yet but already I can see myself making a more conscious decision on how I am going to react to various situations throughout the day. I barely got through the first chapter and already I felt a surge of encouragement and renewed sense of purpose. That I can do this! I can model better behaviour and that with time I can make changes in how my children behave.

I got my best praise tonight from my husband when after having had to go and settle a dispute with all three of the children, my husband said to me.. “you handled that very well, honey”. I looked at him in surprise thinking it was no big deal. And he said to me no, that I had handled it amazingly well and certainly not with the words he would have gone in with. Wow. I was inordinately pleased by his simple observation.

So if you are struggling with how to teach your children strong character values, this book is definitely well worth a read. It’s simple and it makes sense.

For more information visit http://www.characteristhekey.com/.

In addition, Mom Central has provided an additional book to be given to one of my lucky readers. To enter to win please leave a comment telling me that you've visited the Mom Central webpage and something that you like about it. Contest closes Sunday, October 25th.

For additional entries, (leave comment per extra entry) you may

1. Visit Character is the Key webpage and tell me one of the places that you can purchase the book.

2. follow my blog

3. follow me on twitter and tweet about this giveaway

4. share a parenting anecdote.

Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Character Is the Key: How to Unlock the Best in Our Children and Ourselves and received a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.


  1. I love parenting books that really make a difference. Congrats on the husband compliment! I'll look into that book. My two little guys are irritating each other lately all the time. Maybe I'll find a little solution and a lot of peace from your book:)

  2. It sounds like it could really be great for families. Thanks for the review.

  3. I think the book sounds important and interesting. I think now more than ever parents need to instil the qualities you discussed, integrity, honesty, etc. I will tell my friends about this.

    will be following now.

    thanks for stopping by this w/end from sits, returning the pop over1

  4. Hello there! Stopping by from SITS! If you thought your roll call was late...

    So I did what you said and looked at Mommy Central. I'm not a mom but I am a big fan of all forms of social media, and what I like most about the website is that it truly is trying to be a central hub for all types of communication, and yet it's dynamic enough that as new ways of interacting with other moms pop up, you know they'll show up on the site.

    Sounds like a great book too! Have a blessed day!

  5. Oh I so need this book too then. I try so hard to work on this, and yet my two and half year old can say the fbomb, s*it, d*mn and though not near as bad she learned oh my god! the other day. The last one I blame on Will Ferrell. It is hard to remember how much they sponge up moment to moment. Love the MomCentral site. The layout is great I like how you can see the articles and snipets clearly. Heading back to join up!

  6. Thanks for the review. I'm starting to wonder if this "winging it" parenting strategy is working. I'm going to look up this book.


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