Thursday, October 22, 2009

Character Is The Key

Character Is The Key, taglined How To Unlock The Best In Our Children and Ourselves, is a new parenting book by Sara Dimerman. This book is full of examples and exercises, plans and detailed lists, all aimed at showing parents how to exemplify good character and help their children grow and develop into persons that model fairness, honesty and integrity.

Twenty chapters, in fact, defining what to do between birth and the teen years.

I did not like this book, which made it hard to do a balanced review.

While it reads (wordily but) reasonably well and has enough examples and case studies to break up most of the usual self-help monotonousness, I found the book to be written like a textbook with kernels of truth or life-changing quotes in every paragraph. In other words,a book made to be read with a yellow hi-lighter. Which would be great if I was taking a class or wanted a book to keep on the night table to refer to - for the next fifteen years? I find this style of writing - the kind that tries to give talking points every paragraph tiring to read.

I also found the author's use of the word modelling (her spelling, archaic but correct) on almost every page grating. There's really nothing like stumbling over a word to interrupt the meaning of words and your concentration. And then re-reading pages makes me impatient, which isn't very good modelling for my children.

While this book does say many good things about building character in your children and has some tips and tricks that I will try to enforce in my household, (I appreciated the Short and Sweet section and the abundant Online Resources listed) and is worth a quick read, Character Is The Key will not be the parenting bible it tries to be. Instead, I'll sneak short peeks at it every once in awhile and try to be the best parent I can.

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. A friend recently had this book recommended to her and she asked me if I knew anything about it or had read it. I'm going to direct her over here because I think she'll appreciate this "cut to the chase" review.

    Thanks for taking the time to, at times it sounds, slog through this book!

  2. I did a review of it too. I liked it but maybe it is because I feel I could use some direction when it comes to Character Education (and I thought there was lots of direction in this book). I appreciate your opinion as well :)