There is a saying, ‘bad company corrupts good character’. Character is defined as the moral fibre of an individual. Its what marks them and makes them who they are. It gives them a reputation, a personality with distinctive qualities and traits. Character is an individual’s disposition, which is both inherited and uniquely them. However, it can be shaped by will and habit.
There are outside influences that have an effect on a child’s character. As parents, you are not the only influence in your child’s life but you should be the main one. The statement that bad company corrupts good character is true of many things. The question you need to ask yourself when your child’s behaviour is not what it was or what you hoped it would be is what or who is having an influence on my child.
When our twins were two we found that their behaviour changed. They seemed hyper to us. One of our values is a peaceful home and their behaviour wasn’t. We realized that at that age, that some would entitle the ‘terrible twos’, they can be challenging but this was different. This was not that, this was excessive and beyond, what we called ‘hyper’. We began to investigate and realized that when they watched a certain television show for preschoolers their behaviour changed. For our children that programme was bad company, it was corrupting their good behaviour.
What your children watch on TV, see on the Internet or read will affect them. The eyes are the window to the soul and what they see has an effect.
Other children can also corrupt a child’s good behaviour. As a parent you need to be aware of who your children are playing with or hanging out with. When you discern a change in attitude or something odd about you child’s behaviour, scrutinize their company. This is wise to observe throughout a child’s life. If you sense they are hanging out with the wrong crowd you may want to intervene quickly.
When your child is young, you can choose friends for them. It is really important that as they grow up you keep the communication flowing between you. Ask them questions about what they did, who said what and how did it make them feel? You may have to steer them away from hanging out with those that don’t have the same moral standards.
Be the protector of your child’s character. Know what they are watching and whom they are hanging out with because it will affect their behaviour reflecting on their character.