My wife Nancy and I (Steve Markel) were married at a young age and began having children right away. Although we were raised with strong values, we were often uncertain that what we were doing as parents was right for our children. We read many books on parenting and spoke with other parents in our community and realized we were not alone in our insecurities. We felt compelled to facilitate a lecture for a group of people in Denver with Jim Stenson, one of the authors of several books on parenting. His lecture poignantly reflected a thought that stuck with us: “Teach your children virtues and they will be successful no matter what they do.”
We went through years of trying multiple programs before we realized how important this thought from Jim Stenson truly was. We tried seemingly everything from self-help books to book discussion groups to attending lectures. We found that all of these programs were extremely time-consuming and only moderately helpful. Over time, we realized that attending lectures and reading books isn’t what enforces change, only practice does.
After spending countless hours with books and parenting programs, we became frustrated and overwhelmed. What if this particular program wasn’t right? How will we know if it works? We found ourselves continually going back to what the original speaker said, “Teach your children virtues and they will be successful no matter what they do.”
We developed the Families of Character program based around this principal and began to compile information that gave couples suggestions on how to actually instill virtues into their daily lives. Our mission is simple: help other couples have happy, healthy and successful families.
We started Families of Character with our own group to determine its effect. Today, we have many couples taking the course in different parts of the country with positive success.
We believe that the family is the foundation of society. Where you have strong, responsible and respectful families, you find a healthy, happy and united society.
The goal is that Families of Character will become a national organization, offering parents information, guidance and support on developing character in their families.
Steve is Chairman and co-founder of Families of Character. He was an executive of one of the largest investment management organizations in the U.S., for over 21 years. He serves on several boards and is actively involved in his community.
Nancy has spent the greater part, and as she would say, “the most important part,” of her life as a mother of five children.