Q: I'm concerned with how my two children treat others and want them to learn to be kind and considerate of others. What should I look for in a preschool curriculum that will help them develop these characteristics?
A: Children develop their character through clear expectations, role models and examples. This can happen in many settings — at home, with friends and relatives, and in school. Most often it is the adults who children respect, admire, and love who set the tone. The best way to teach these traits is to describe them to children clearly and also to model them regularly. Children are keen observers. They see and hear everything, even when we don't realize it. This is why all the adults involved in the child's many environments must be focused on the same goals.
When interviewing a preschool, ask if they have a character education program. The program should have a method that is integrated into the classroom and uses books or activities to help the children learn to understand each t