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Why I Believe in Character Education - My Own Experience

Author: Francine Larson

As I was reading the wonderful articles on your web site, I thought to myself, If only this had been available for me when I was in school. I wonder if my life would have turned our differently? I wonder if my life would have been easier?

Yes, my parents loved me and provided for me, but somewhere along the line I missed the boat. My parents always looked at my report card, but there wasn’t some kind of report card to see if I was coping with life or even knew what to do in certain situations.

Since I was the youngest of three girls and my parents were not into sports, I couldn’t even throw or catch a ball. At school, two good players were chosen by the teacher as team leaders. They, in turn, would then “pick” their team. One team leader would call out a name and then the other team leader would call out another name until everyone was on a team. I was always the very last one to be chosen. I wish I would have know how to deal with that. And how not to feel bad the rest of the day and dread the next day when the same thing would take place.

At least I did have the “honesty thing” down pat. One summer, during my high school years, I received my report card in the mail. I knew I didn’t deserve the grade that was given to me. Now you are going to think I am a little bit touched in the head, but I just had to contact the teacher and tell him it was a mistake. It wasn’t a mistake. The teacher graded on the curve. Even now, I only want what is honestly mine. On occasion, when I tell a white lie, I think to myself how futile this is and sometimes wind up confessing. Due to my Christian up-bringing, to accept otherwise would cause me lack of peace and nothing is more precious than peace. That philosophy has served me well, as life has been good to me.

Please don’t get me wrong. I am not a saint. I have plenty of faults and am still learning some life lessons.

Why didn’t someone tell me about cliques? Why didn’t I know just to be myself, my real authentic self, instead of trying to fit into a group? If someone would have said, “Will the real Fran Larson please stand up,” maybe I would have stood and found where I belong. I would have been enormously happy and would have seen that I was an “OK” person.

I think I would have been forever grateful if I had been taught, “How to deal with peer pressure.” When I was a teenager, my friend talked me into staying out hours after my curfew. I was convinced it was “ok” because she said it was . I learned the hard way how miserable you can be when you succumb to peer pressure.. When I got home and saw the worried and hurt look on my parent’s face, I was totally devastated. I wish I would have tried to please my parents that night, not my peers. Would a lesson in peer pressure have helped? Did I even understand what peer pressure was? Perhaps a class discussion on the subject would have been remembered or even a book that explained these issues.

I didn’t know that even as an adult, I would remember the look on my mother’s face the day I lied to her…………it still haunts me………I was just thinking……..

Francine Larson is the co-author of Character Keys to a Bright Future. She has written articles, short stories and poetry and is now completing a new book. Contact Information: Visit her web site at: