Character Development Center for Children

Parental influence on children in the first 12 years of their lives have a permanent effect. Unfortunately, children come with no user manual. Each child is different from the other. Discuss how to handle emotional and educational needs of your child here.

Character Development Center for Children

Postby davionang » Fri Jul 31, 2009 6:02 pm

Hi to all parents, I am a 3rd-year student from a local polytechnic and as part of our final-year project our team wishes to set up a character development center for children aged 3-12 years old. I am in hope that I get some useful insights and information from the forum here. Some questions to start of:

    What is your general opinion regarding this idea?
    We intend to locate at a premier housing district like Bukit Timah, and have used Crown Center as a potential place to locate the business. What do you think of this?
    Is there anyone staying in the Bukit Timah area who is willing to send your children to such a center if there is one?


Thanks in advance! Please help me, I would appreciate it very much!

davionang
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Postby Jav » Fri Jul 31, 2009 6:30 pm

Hi,

This would be interesting. I am staying near to Bt Timah. Can you explain more what will you be covering in the Character Development Program. My husband was just mentioning about it last week.

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Postby Andaiz » Fri Jul 31, 2009 6:51 pm

Davionang,

This is a good concept but Character development is a wide topic. What are you specifically looking at and what areas would you choose to concentrate on?

Andaiz
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Re: Character Development Center for Children

Postby ChiefKiasu » Fri Jul 31, 2009 6:59 pm

davionang wrote:Hi to all parents, I am a 3rd-year student from a local polytechnic and as part of our final-year project our team wishes to set up a character development center for children aged 3-12 years old. I am in hope that I get some useful insights and information from the forum here. Some questions to start of:...


Hi davionang, before we start answering your questions, would you humor me by answering this little question:
What is character development?

Thank you.

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Postby davionang » Sat Aug 01, 2009 1:39 am

Jav wrote:Hi,

This would be interesting. I am staying near to Bt Timah. Can you explain more what will you be covering in the Character Development Program. My husband was just mentioning about it last week.


Basically, we aim to be a centre which specialises sole in children's character education. The courses that we will be offering will be specific character traits courses. For example, there will be courses on self-discipline, honesty, positive attitude, how to not be self-centred and of course many more which we can include based on surveys that we will be conducting.

Of course, I understand that some of these may have already been taught in schools. But we believe the stuffs taught in school will not be comprehensive and intensive enough to leave an impression in children's minds. A brief "Honesty means that you should not tell lies. Honesty means that you should return the wallet you found on streets to the rightful owner" will not suffice as children generally become more knowledgeable through experential learning.

Our courses will be taking the intensive approach: For example, a course on "Honesty" can take four 2-hours session to complete. Your children will be in a classroom setting, learning through fun activities conducted by our "trainers". Also, they will be given a "logbook cum worksheet" to record what they have learnt in class and we believe this will help them retain some information.

Andaiz wrote:Hi,

Davionang,

This is a good concept but Character development is a wide topic. What are you specifically looking at and what areas would you choose to concentrate on?


As mentioned above, we're looking at educating children based on individual character traits which can run up to a number of 40 if I'm not wrong. Of course, it's not just a center to address children behavior problems, but also one who provides concentrated character education with a wide range of courses(character traits) that you wish to in-build in your child.

ChiefKiasu wrote:Hi,

Hi davionang, before we start answering your questions, would you humor me by answering this little question:
What is character development?

Thank you.?


Hi ChiefKiasu. If I were to give you a textbook answer, I wouldn't have any :lol: My opinion of character development is to impart the right values to a child, then again, you may ask what are the right values? Many a times, parents, especially those in SG, tends to over-focus on academic enrichment such as tuitions. Real-life examples has made our team think twice about pushing our future children to tuitions. Remember the case of a top JC student hitting the driver of a bus over a retained bus card sets the public? White-collar crimes? Doctors peddling Subutex? Lawyers fleeing away with client's money? Sure, you may say that they are highly intelligent people and I will agree. So what is the cause of all these incidents? Incorrect moral behaviors.

I thank you all for the questions and hope that I have managed to clarify most of them. :D

davionang
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Postby buds » Sat Aug 01, 2009 2:10 am

davionang wrote:As mentioned above, we're looking at educating children based on individual character traits which can run up to a number of 40 if I'm not wrong. Of course, it's not just a center to address children behavior problems, but also one who provides concentrated character education with a wide range of courses(character traits) that you wish to in-build in your child.


So...... :idea: ........ do you mean to insinuate that parents coming to this
proposed centre get to pick and choose the character they wish to "build"
into the child? For what they think the child is lacking?

I'm just curious though, how 4 2-hr sessions can ensure the child WILL be
honest....... throughout their lives? Children grow into adults and being
adults they are put into different situations and experiences with school,
work and life in general. Hence character building grows with the child as
the experiences in life grows..... as the child matures.

Character development..... shouldn't it begin from the home..... in the home
and starting from us parents? Especially those at a very young age. I
find that as parents we take years to help children cultivate positive
values in them and not something that can necessarily be-drilled-to
learn.

Offence examples listed by you can derive from the lack of values or as
you say moral behaviours, however, it can also be a case of multi-factorial
aspects of the individual and their circumstances. Humans are driven by
emotions/feelings which may not necessarily mean they intended for the
actions, but more to the heat of the moment when they were troubled...?
I'm not insinuating that should be an excuse but desperations can lead to
extreme repercussions and likewise for troubled minds... For example,
someone in debt can be driven to stealing. Seeing his children go hungry
drove him to desperation. Not that he doesn't have values. He can be a
good man but he may have thought there isn't a way out to solve his
problems...

Just my honest curiosity... no offence intended.

buds
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Postby ChiefKiasu » Sat Aug 01, 2009 8:47 am

buds wrote:... I'm just curious though, how 4 2-hr sessions can ensure the child WILL be honest....... throughout their lives? Children grow into adults and being adults they are put into different situations and experiences with school, work and life in general. Hence character building grows with the child as the experiences in life grows..... as the child matures. Character development..... shouldn't it begin from the home..... in the home and starting from us parents? ...


Well put, buds. So say we all. Character development cannot be taught. It is learnt through exposure to how other people handle various situations, and imprinted as we ourselves react to the situations based on our own personal beliefs on how to do so. A child that gets yelled at all the time learns to yell at other people all the time. A child who sees an adult spiting at a beggar will spit at other people that they consider lesser than themselves. A child who sees how hard his parents work to earn a living learns the importance of hardwork and the value of money without being spoken to about it. It is difficult to see how one can learn character development through a couple of hours of weekly lessons in a classroom setting. How different would it be from going to Church weekly and learning about the Ten Commandments to rule our basic behavior?

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Postby jedamum » Sat Aug 01, 2009 10:26 am

is it a 12-mth course thingy or an ongoing course until one see results?
then how are results going to be measurable? being able to score full marks in a set of morale-related 'exam' questions does not guarantee that one will carry the same values.
any money-back guarantee? :evil:
why opting to set the centre at a premium estate as opposed to a regular neighbourhood? :|

what are the qualifications of the trainers? counsellors (for behavioural issues)? leaders in their field/successful entreprenuers (for leadership traits)? if any 'in house trained' personnel can 'teach' character development, how different is it from DIY from parenting books?

a tailor-made course for parents to learn about how to develop their child's potential/address behavioural issues may be more feasible, as what was mentioned by some parents here, the same set of undesirable traits may be fuel by different underlying circumstances.

2cents. Your Final Year project; if you can go through our 'panel of judges' you should be able to ace your project interview :wink:

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Postby davionang » Sat Aug 01, 2009 12:09 pm

buds wrote:
davionang wrote:As mentioned above, we're looking at educating children based on individual character traits which can run up to a number of 40 if I'm not wrong. Of course, it's not just a center to address children behavior problems, but also one who provides concentrated character education with a wide range of courses(character traits) that you wish to in-build in your child.


So...... :idea: ........ do you mean to insinuate that parents coming to this
proposed centre get to pick and choose the character they wish to "build"
into the child? For what they think the child is lacking?

I'm just curious though, how 4 2-hr sessions can ensure the child WILL be
honest....... throughout their lives? Children grow into adults and being
adults they are put into different situations and experiences with school,
work and life in general. Hence character building grows with the child as
the experiences in life grows..... as the child matures.

Character development..... shouldn't it begin from the home..... in the home
and starting from us parents? Especially those at a very young age. I
find that as parents we take years to help children cultivate positive
values in them and not something that can necessarily be-drilled-to
learn.

Offence examples listed by you can derive from the lack of values or as
you say moral behaviours, however, it can also be a case of multi-factorial
aspects of the individual and their circumstances. Humans are driven by
emotions/feelings which may not necessarily mean they intended for the
actions, but more to the heat of the moment when they were troubled...?
I'm not insinuating that should be an excuse but desperations can lead to
extreme repercussions and likewise for troubled minds... For example,
someone in debt can be driven to stealing. Seeing his children go hungry
drove him to desperation. Not that he doesn't have values. He can be a
good man but he may have thought there isn't a way out to solve his
problems...

Just my honest curiosity... no offence intended.


Yes, that is what we have proposed originally. Of course, this system of "picking" can be changed.

I understand your qualms and I agree with you that these sessions may not be sufficient enough to ensure that a child holds on to that positive character trait for his life. Yes, character development should begin at home. However, we took into consideration the fact of increasing latchkey children, and the prevalence of dual-income families. Many a times, these children are left to fend for themselves after school as both their parents are working, and of course they would have a higher probability of going astray, picking up bad habits/traits.

What we want to do is to work with parents, act like a catalyst to their children's character well-being. Like you said, it will take years for parents to cultivate positive values in them. That's why we want to be a driving force, an additional avenue for parents to put their child through with regards to holistic education.

I concur that human's desperation can lead them to going against their moral values, lead them to doing very bad things. That said, the "good man" in the picture will be living a life of guilt as he has done something forbidden.

ChiefKiasu wrote:Well put, buds. So say we all. Character development cannot be taught. It is learnt through exposure to how other people handle various situations, and imprinted as we ourselves react to the situations based on our own personal beliefs on how to do so. A child that gets yelled at all the time learns to yell at other people all the time. A child who sees an adult spiting at a beggar will spit at other people that they consider lesser than themselves. A child who sees how hard his parents work to earn a living learns the importance of hardwork and the value of money without being spoken to about it. It is difficult to see how one can learn character development through a couple of hours of weekly lessons in a classroom setting. How different would it be from going to Church weekly and learning about the Ten Commandments to rule our basic behavior?


Character can be taught. Humans are absorptive creatures. This means that they are shaped and are easily influenced by their environment. In the case of young children, this is especially true. Normally, we say that character is something that any individual has once one is born. It is an inborn trait which is natural to all individuals. However, I sincerely believe that it can be taught. Like you have expressed, it's the lessons learned through life by the different people a person comes across, that really teaches character in a person; people learn as they grow and they acquire their characters from the kind of environment they are in.

Whether we're parents or teachers or coaches or just ordinary citizens, we naturally have the responsibility to gear our children to the right aspects of their life. There is a need to let them know what's right and what's wrong. That is what I believe, they learn from adults' actions, words, advice.

A child has many experiences in their childhood and as young adults where they're choosing from right or wrong. It's up to them what they choose, and in result the path they take in life. But how do they choose? What will push them to choose right, and how will they know to choose it? I guess it's from what the adults in their lives tell them, it's from what parents teach them at home. By providing an additional avenue to help hasten and solidify the process, we hope to work hand-in-hand with parents to achieve good character well-being of their children.

Lastly, children easily assimilate the things they encounter in real life. So that if a child sees and learns pleasant things around him, there is little chance that the child would become a bad person.

jedamum wrote:is it a 12-mth course thingy or an ongoing course until one see results?
then how are results going to be measurable? being able to score full marks in a set of morale-related 'exam' questions does not guarantee that one will carry the same values.
any money-back guarantee? :evil:
why opting to set the centre at a premium estate as opposed to a regular neighbourhood? :|

what are the qualifications of the trainers? counsellors (for behavioural issues)? leaders in their field/successful entreprenuers (for leadership traits)? if any 'in house trained' personnel can 'teach' character development, how different is it from DIY from parenting books?

a tailor-made course for parents to learn about how to develop their child's potential/address behavioural issues may be more feasible, as what was mentioned by some parents here, the same set of undesirable traits may be fuel by different underlying circumstances.

2cents. Your Final Year project; if you can go through our 'panel of judges' you should be able to ace your project interview :wink:


Tentatively, we have set 1 month for each character trait (e.g. self-discipline in 1-month course. But judging on the comments and responses here, I will be looking to changing the course layout. If it was ongoing, will you be willing to pay "ongoing-ly"? :wink:

Ace-ing character-related assessments and exams are not what we intend to do, like you said, there is no guarantee of carrying the same values. I understand that as parents, you do not wish to waste money on something that you won't be able to see the effectiveness. However, we are looking at character education here. It is different from academic-enrichment classes whereby you can see the increase/decrease in your children's grades and attribute the success to that tuition centre. Therefore, I would say that the results will be hard to measure and we're still thinking of a fool-proof way.

Opting to set the centre at a premium estate as we know that the households have one of the highest income in Singapore, as opposed to a regular neighbourhood, they have a higher tendency to spend on such enrichment. Moreover, the proposed centre location that we're looking at is surrounded by a few good primary schools, and tons of kindergartens, childcare centres; giving us a close proximity to our target market.

I do have information about our trainers, but I'm afraid I can't provide any information yet due to confidentiality issues.

The course for parents to develop their child's potential/address behavioral issues may well be another service that our centre can provide, thank you.

"Panel of judges", I kinda agree. But my purpose here is more on gaining insights from the parents around here, I thank you all for the inputs. :D

davionang
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character education

Postby Skippy » Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:40 pm

Oh no! not another form of 'enrichment' I cry !! Enrichment for the soul ?

From everything I read here, your good intentions come with a price to parents. The price is their dollars for their time.

Children around the world are screaming for their parents to connect with them, not drop them off yet again, to learn what should be taught organically in the home, in their community, in the company of good family and friends and their religious beliefs. This is where the real connections happen and character building begins and ends, surely? Remember, sitting with grandfather as he told you stories of how he saved someone's life? Hearing dad tell us about how tempted he was to take the job with more money but he didn't because .....

Character building, values, right and wrong are taught through consequences and not in a centre. As you mentioned your target group was the latch-key kids. It is an assumption here that latch-key kids are already missing out on values...they may be the leaders of tomorrow as perhaps their parents have set them up with their boundaries that work for them. There were time when my kids had to use their own key but not at the expense of their value building.

If the intention is to provide a community service, free of cost to kids that need additional support, I would volunteer my expertise to teach for free here. I am guessing it is not such a service?

The question raised to you in this forum - about your trainers was an open question and and did not call for details, the question posed was 'what qualifications do your trainers have who will be teaching such values' ? Psychologists? Trained counsellors in early development/teens?

A character centre in my humble opinion would encourage parents who are career oriented to spend further time at work and to leave the responsibility to someone else to teach character building. This is a sad day for kids.

Skippy

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