Character Is The Key: How To Unlock The Best In Our Children and Ourselves


I find as my daughter grows older, I am browsing books that have advice, stories and lessons to learn in parenting. I do this, simply because having a 5 year old is new to me, and I want to make sure I approach new stages in her life in the most healthy and beneficial way. For example, last month, we were at the playground and I could see her following around a group of 3 girls and was trying to impress them and ‘be their friend’. After a while, this group of girls started making fun of another child. I couldn’t tell whether they knew this other girl or not, but their name calling and put-downs were shocking, for 4 and 5 year olds!It made me happy to see that Isabelle observed this, crinkled her nose, and wandered off to find another group of girls to play with. I am really happy that she didn’t join in and berate someone, just to impress other kids. I am surprised that already I am faced with these kind of societal issues, for a 5 year old. I was a mess of emotions, from fear that she would be the next target to sadness at what she will have to endure in her school years. And though I wanted to just hug and shelter her – I knew I couldn’t. Better yet, I have to equip myself and teach her about morals, respect, integrity, dignity, values and everything to make her an overall good person.

Character Is The Key: How To Unlock The Best In Our Children and Ourselves‘ is a book written by Canadian author Sara Dimerman and she talks about helping kids become caring, courageous, positive and principled people. People who take initiative at in and outside the home, have empathy for others and take responsibility for their actions. After all, don’t we want our children to value family, respect those around them, and be courageous enough to stand up for what they believe in? I know I sure do!

Her Bio, taken from the website:
Sara Dimerman, Dip.C.S., C.Psych.Assoc., is registered with the College of Psychologists of Ontario as an individual, couple and family therapist. She is the founder and director of the Parent Education & Resource Centre. Her syndicated column Help Me Sara appears in publications in Canada and the United States, and she’s the child and family therapy expert at Her first book, Am I A Normal Parent was published in 2008.

The top ten character traits which Character is the Key will help your family develop:

  • Respect
  • Responsibility
  • Honesty
  • Empathy
  • Fairness
  • Initiative
  • Courage
  • Perseverance
  • Optimism
  • Integrity

This book has been wonderful to read. It’s simple, straightforward and breaks down each topic very well. It’s a great resource for those with children from tots to teens, and even has specific information for those parents who are divorced. I think this is fabulous part of the book, as parents need to realize that kids learn from behaviors and treatments they watch. They might not mimic the exact actions they observe, yet it can certainly shape their perception and attitude from that point on. Sara stresses that divorced couples should make the child their top priority and establish healthy and positive communication {and as parents, you should set an example yourselves}. I found this chapter very interesting, and am certainly going to pass this information onto some people I know.

Sara’s website also has some great worksheets that can be used for a couple of the chapters in this book. I like that the exercises and activities throughout the book {and online} practice disciplines such as working together, strong family dynamics and practicing on beneficial personality traits. Even if you don’t follow this book word for word and do every activity, it sure gets you thinking…I know I have changed some of my attitudes and actions when it comes to shaping and preparing my daughter for adulthood.

‘Character Is The Key: How To Unlock The Best In Our Children and Ourselves’ is available at bookstores such as Chapters Indigo or online {}


** Disclosure: Product samples provided for review purposes, all opinions are my own


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