In the parenting class I taught last night at JBC I said that the key to parenting Ultimately successful kids was to proactively train our kids to have character and in order to do that successfully we needed to identify the particular trait we wanted in our kids. Then we needed to figure out what it would look like, that is, how it would show up in their behavior. Next we needed to figure out the strategy we would use to instill that particular character trait into their heart and soul so that it was truly who they were on the inside, and not just role playing. And then we needed to figure out how to measure the presence and growth of the particular trait we were targeting so we would know if we were being successful as parent/trainer/coaches or not. We primarily worked on ten character traits. There are many more than that, but we like simplicity so we picked ten. We called our parenting strategy, “Ten traits for tots and teens”. Of the ten, the character trait of being “tough” was probably the most important. That was the inner strength and trust in God that gave them the ability to face trials as a challenge to be won, and not something to fear because of the pain. If we were successful they would not grumble or complain about difficulties or trials that life brings to all. They would be able to carry a large load of responsibility without self pity. They would not be afraid to take a risk in life because of the potential for failure and pain . They would not be paralyzed by the fear of failing. They would not get bitter and angry at God or others because of crisis that resulted in loss and pain. Probably one of the strongest natural traits every person is born with is fear of pain and the desire for comfort, so training our kids to the opposite took much thought and lots of effort, and patient training. A major requirement is we had to model toughness by never complaining, rejoicing always, and being positive and pleasant in our treatment of others while in the midst of the trials of life.