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iTwixie Smart Girl Challenge
girls can change the world
iTwixie's Parent Circle 21-Day Challenge for March
March 8, 2010

Why 21 days? We crave instant results. But in reality it takes 21 days to really change and break an old habit in order to replace it with a powerful, new good one. So give this challenge a try! See the change in your tween, your family and in YOU!

Five Steps to Teaching Any Character Trait by Dr. Michele Borba

No matter what character trait you choose to enhance–perseverance, determination, empathy, responsibility, respect–there are five steps to teaching it. Here are the five teaching steps to teaching any character trait:

Step 1: Accentuate It!
The first step to teaching any new character trait is simply to accentuate it. Emphasizing a different character trait regularly can be a successful as well as practical strategy. Get everyone in your family to reinforce and model the same trait and your girl will be more likely to learn the new character trait.

Step 2: Tell the Value and Meaning of the Trait
The second step to teaching a character trait is to convey exactly what the trait means and why it is important. Explain the trait within your tween’s realm of experience. Never assuming she’s been exposed to the trait.

Step 3: Teach What the Trait Looks and Sounds Like
There is no perfect way to teach the trait, but research on teaching new skills says telling how to do the behavior is no where near as important as showing the behavior. You can make a significant difference by modeling the trait and making your character discussions as concrete as possible.

Step 4: Provide Opportunities to Practice the Trait
Generally your girl must be provided with frequent opportunities to practice the new behavior. In fact, learning theory tell us it generally takes 21 days of practice before a new behavior is acquired. This is an important rule to keep in mind as you try these activities with your tween.

Step 5: Provide Effective Feedback
The final step to teaching any character trait is to reinforce to students appropriate or incorrect trait behavior as soon as convenient. Doing so will help clarify to your tween: “You’re on the right track. Keep it up.” or “Almost but this is what to do instead.” Catching a wrong behavior before it becomes a bad habit increases the tween’s chances of acquiring more character traits.

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