Character Notes - Flexibility
Teaching the Character trait of Flexibility has been hard work with our very black and white, dogmatic, first born son! I remember him as a toddler going around putting everything back in its place, back where it came from. Sounds like a great trait – and it is – until you try and put a used tissue back where it came from! Yes, we had a toddler-struggle over that one!!!
The willingness to change plans or ideas
We recently discussed the opposite of Flexibility being Stubbornness – being unable to bend – resistant. We compared a Pipe cleaner with a Popsicle stick. The children discussed all the things that could be done with just one Popsicle stick or just one Pipe cleaner. The result was, that you can do a lot more things in life if you are flexible.
Of course, we had to discuss the things we do not want to be flexible about. The children were very clear that
God’s Word were two areas that were not up for flexibility!
For the older children this leads well into a discussion on Absolute Truth and the affects on society because society has come to believe there is no absolute truth and their belief system is very flexible!
There was an opportunity for one of our children to be flexible in one of our co-op days where we were playing the old fashioned game of Jacks. Her friend wanted to play Jacks individually and yet race each other. Our daughter wanted to play together as a game. Could she think of how Flexibility could be helpful in this situation? She remembered that being flexible meant changing your ideas on things, so she decided she could change her idea on how to play Jacks (as a group game) and accept the race idea. The point was she was playing with her friends.
Keeping in balance with other traits
No trait stands by itself – we often find overlaps.
In the above situation with Jacks we could have easily addressed this as a Preferring One another (Love) issue, a Preciousness of Others (Respect) issue but since we were dealing with Flexibility it was an opportunity to focus on being willing to change our ideas.
The kids listened to an Odyssey story about a wedding and everyone wanted to do things there own way. The kids were very clear about seeing that there was no Co-operation. One comment was that the characters in the story were being Popsicle sticks! This lead into telling Daddy the difference between a Popsicle stick and a Pipe cleaner. A perfect opportunity to recap and listen to their narrations! It is great seeing them apply their lessons in character to various situations – even if it is in imaginary stories.
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