At dinner we've been starting a new tradition. For the past 2 weeks we all sit together and read a short story from the Character Building Day by Day: 180 Quick Read-Alouds for Elementary School and Home book. There are enough lessons for 180 days and each topic, like diligence, has 5 short stories to go with it. So we can work on a new character building topic each week.
I really can't say enough good things about this book. At the begining of dinner, after everyone has been seated and served, we review the topic heading page about what that specific topic means in general. I ask the kids when they have been diligent (or not) or when that week they could remember being cooperative. These short stories are great for talking about how we should behaive and when. So far all the stories have had positive outcomes -showing examples of cooperation instead of being uncooperative. Which is great since we already have enough negative examples of our own.
I'm really hoping that these lessons will help the children to start identifying on their own positive and appropriate behaivors and traits they'd like to see in themselves. It also makes for a great family dinner conversation!