We believe that the early childhood education is perhaps the most significant job in any given society or community. As the future leaders and providers, our children will determine the quality of their lives as well as our lives in the years to come through what they learn and do in their formative years (1-5 years). With our Okaloosa County Child Developement centers we are striving to build character in your child.
Our goal is summed up in the traditional proverbial saying the following:
“A good name is more desirable than riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.”
As we serve the greater Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Laurel Hill and Crestview areas. It is our greatest desire to see children rise up through the years to be successful leaders with integrity and solid character. Raising children is no easy task; it demands time and constant attention. As a result, we compiled a short list of areas to take note of and practice teaching a child as they continue to grow physically, mentally, and spiritually:
- PARENT FIRST. In an increasingly demanding worldwide culture, it is absolutely crucial to prioritize being a parent. If you do not take initiative to focus your mental and physical energies on your children their growth will be stunted.
- LEAD. Humans learn primarily through modeling or examples they see. If we are not modeling the character we want our children to someday have, they will most likely not reach their potential.
- PLAN. Think of fun and creative ways to include your children in your daily life, especially socially. The more time with your child around you and mature adults, the more they can learn.
- OBSERVE. In the formative years (1-5 years) a child will soak up his/her external surroundings like a sponge. Be observant of what they are taking in (tv, books, music, magazines, etc.) and help monitor their filter.
- SPEAK. In order to develop strong moral character, children need to hear clear-cut examples of right and wrong.
- DISCIPLINE. Unfortunately, discipline and/or punishment has a bad reputation in today’s American society. When children do not receive limits, the result is guilt-ridden parents and out-of-control children. Children will naturally rebel, but most will learn and turn. Children must understand punishment and understand its source is parental love.
- LISTEN. It is easy for many to tune out their children after a long days work, listen to them! Children need intentional engagement in order to be reaffirmed and encouraged in their growth and life experiences.
- GET INVOLVED. School is the primary stage of life for children. As they greatly succeed and miserably fail, parents should be the primary means of counsel and safety. To help our children become good learners is synonymous with helping them become men and women of character.
- EAT! As family time at the dinner table in America diminishes, so does a place for the teaching and passing on of values diminish. A consistent family mealtime can and will provide unforgettable opportunities to pass on core values and truths to hungry children.
- ENCOURAGE PRACTICE. Character is learned through observation and modeling, it is developed through practice. Promoting action through self-discipline, solid work habits, selfless behavior to others, and community service will help make character become behavior.
It is the great longing of every parent to see their children grow up to be successful and esteemed men and women in the world. Taking active, intentional steps such as the ten we listed above will greatly increase the possibility of a child growing up in integrity. With all our efforts, maybe one day we will see Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream, which is shared by much of the world, finally come true:
"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." -- Martin Luther King, Jr.