Character is the Key: Review and Giveaway


I have always been an avid reader; that is until I became the mother of little ones. Though I still love to read, my time is limited and therefore I choose my books with greater care and caution. It also takes me longer to read them, with many sweet little interruptions.  I have always had a passion for well written, encouraging and motivating “self-help” books as my husband calls them.  In the past three years, I have read a great number of parenting books and, while I can’t say that it is the best parenting book I have ever read, I can say with sincerity that Character is The Key is a must read for parents.

I was privileged to receive a copy of Character is the Key: How to Unlock the Best in Our Children and Ourselves for review. It was written by Sara Dimerman, a therapist, parent educator, author and above all, a mother of two daughters: 9 years and 17 years old. That is a very important point for me when choosing a parenting book!

Character is the Key is broken down into three main parts:

  1. Part One introduces the reader to the program, helping them to understand the purpose, the desired outcomes and the importance of character; reminding the reader that, intentional or not, they are modeling character already.
  2. Part Two introduces the family meeting, provides some ideas for setting up the readers’ own family core values (printable worksheets available online) and gives plenty of tips to help make this program work.
  3. Part Three is putting it all together; walking through each of the 10 core values, introducing the once a month meeting (printable worksheets available online) and providing an activity to work on as a group to reinforce each trait.

There is a is also a “short & sweet” summary at the end of each chapter as a refresher with the ‘important’ parts for the spouse who dislikes reading.

Of course most of us know that we want our children to be respectful, polite, honest etc. but sometimes it helps to have some ideas of how to put it teaching these traits into practice. The book contained many practical examples of how to model character. It  gives some great ideas for how to interject a discussion of specific values into real life situations as well. The family building activities help to reinforce the traits that the reader’s family is learning together and hopefully helps to strengthen the family bond as well. Now since my little ones are one and two, we didn’t put any of the family activities into practice just yet, but I am sure that we will when able.

There was a very interesting exercise for the reader that involved circling traits from a list that you want your children to display, then circling traits from another list that you hoped they would have as adults. Sara pointed out that some of the traits that you wouldn’t necessarily choose to have in a child can lead to positive traits in an adult and vice versa. Very thought provoking!

Throughout the book, Sara also reminded us that character is practiced and becomes a habit…it isn’t necessarily something that comes naturally to us at first. She also pointed out that character building is a journey and that we must persevere, keeping tomorrow in  mind and not just doing what will make today easier. That is something that I need to remind myself of each day as I teach, discipline and encourage my little ones.

So I am sure you are all anxious to have a copy for yourself so let’s get on with it!

To Enter:

  • Leave a comment telling us what character trait(s) are most important to your family or how you model good character to your children.
  • Follow Beautiful Calling (two entries
  • Blog about this giveaway

Open to Canadian and USA friends. Closes October 22, 2009

"I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Character Is the Key: How to Unlock the Best in Our Children and Ourselves and received a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate."


  1. character is something we need to always be working on, isn't it? I would love to read this book!

  2. Some of the character traits I wish for my daughter are compassion, honesty, and self confidence. Not necessarily in that order. This sounds like a great book to have throughout the years to return to when needed.

  3. I'm BIG on enforcing character qualities. There are SO many vital ones, its hard to choose. But when it comes down to it, honesty is key to me.

  4. It's a great idea to think about what character qualities we want in our kids. Honesty, compassion, and a relationship with Christ – what I want most for them.
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