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We’re pleased to invite Iowans to contribute to our mission through submitting a guest blog. Today’s guest blog is from Grant Griswold, Vice President-Director of Marketing for Bankers Trust Company.

The majority of elementary schools in Iowa include programs focusing on CHARACTER COUNTS! and the Six Pillars of Character. Thank goodness! As parents, that’s wonderful for us — or is it? Is there ever a time when too much of a good thing allows us to be complacent in our own duties?

Educators and parents wear many hats and some of them we share. Developing children who are trustworthy, respectful and caring is a shared responsibility and one that, I would say, starts at home, with the behavior we parents/adults model for our children.

Teachable moments abound and not all lessons are positive lessons. For example, standing in line witnessing a shopper being angry and rude with a customer service person may be awkward, but provides an excellent situation to discuss with your child later. As parents, what about our own behavior? How do you handle being pulled over for a speeding ticket, or receiving too much change back from a cashier?

And finally, developing character is critically important. After all, civilizations are built — and destroyed — on the integrity of their leaders. Reputations are built — and destroyed — by personal choices. So there’s a lot at stake. As a father of an 10-year-old daughter I can tell you there’s an interesting twist, almost a paradox, to successfully connect on just about any topic, including character. It involves taking the topic seriously, but yourself — not so much.

Have fun, live the life you want your children to model, and remember: While our schools do an outstanding job, we wear and share the hat for developing children with character.

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Our job, not just the school’s
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