69° Good Evening
69° Good Evening

How to know if your kid's character is strong

Parents can help kids flex their character muscles.

Parents can help kids flex their character muscles. Credit: iStock

In the world of school-age kids, it's that time of year again when parents judge their children's academic success. High school seniors have gotten into a good college -- or not. Honors and advanced placement assignments have been made for the coming year. Some elementary school students have been accepted into gifted and talented programs.

Based on these academic measures, we parents judge ourselves. Have we been successful?

But I think this measure is too narrow. I asked one of my favorite parenting writers, Laura Markham, how she would define a well-raised person. Markham is a clinical psychologist, Brooklynite and author of "Peace Parent, Happy Kid: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting." She blogs at

Here's Markham's list:

--Can he take responsibility when he makes a mistake?

--Can she do what's right even when it costs her (and doing what's right almost always costs us)?

--Can he keep himself from lashing out at someone else when he gets angry?

--Can she forgive herself for being imperfect?

--Can he apologize and repair when he inadvertently damages a relationship?

--Can she pursue her passion, overcoming the inevitable hurdles and setbacks, and find the courage to get up the next morning to try again, even when everything goes wrong?

--Can he love deeply?

This is such a wonderful way of looking at people that those grades on the report cards and the college acceptances pale, in my estimation. Read more here.

More Family