It is never to early to think about helping your child become a person of strong character. Positive character traits for kids can be developed through hard work, consistency, and modeling. We all want our children to have strong values and a moral system to guide them through life. character training starts young.
What are Character Traits for Kids
Character traits are the notable things that define a person and how he or she typically thinks and behaves. It’s what other people notice about you related to behavior. For instance, one of my character traits is that I am spontaneous. Spontaneity is one of the things defines my life and my decisions. Character traits can be both good and bad, and sometimes both.
As we talk about character traits for kids, what we are really talking about is the positive traits we’d like our kids to exhibit as they grow up and mature. Each of us probably has a different list, with some commonalities. Among other things, I’d like my kids to be honest, hard-working, loyal, and creative. These are positive character traits we can work on while my kids are still under my care.
List of Character Traits for Kids
I’ve made a shortlist of the character traits I’d love to see in my kids. What would you add to this list? You can use our free printable character journal with your children to encourage development in these areas.
Building Positive Character Traits for Kids
One of the greatest gifts we can give our children is a strong foundation of character. It takes hard work, consistency, and modeling to provide this foundation. We have to live our values, every day, no matter what. Here are some activities you can make a priority in your home to build positive character traits for kids.
Talk it Out
Talk about the importance of good character with your kids. Discuss what you’ve seen in public figures and on Youtube. Talk about how character influences your decisions. Share the things you value and would like to see in your children. Have high-value conversations about the important things in life.
Demonstrate character traits you want to see. If you want your child to give a portion of his or her income to charity, make sure your kids know that you are giving to charity. I don’t like other people to know, but I definitely want my kids to know that this is important to me. And I don’t just talk about it. For years, my kids didn’t realize I was giving, because I kept it hidden. But then I realized this was doing them a disservice. They need to know when I am practicing what I preach. They already know when I’m not.
Pray out loud for your kids and pray character traits over them. If you want them to learn to control big emotions and exhibit self-control, make sure they know you are praying about it. And pray about it in private too. Prayer changes things.
Be consistent. If you value church attendance, go to church. When you want responsible kids who work hard, work hard yourself! If you value voting and freedom, make sure you go to the polls when it’s time to vote. Because honestly, your kids know what you value just by watching what you do.
Work Together to Build Character Traits for Kids
Kids should learn to do chores and be contributing members of the family. This teaches responsibility and hard work. You can also do special projects with your kids like building something, changing the tire, washing the car, or cooking a meal.
If community service is important, volunteer at events making a difference in your community.
Using a Character Journal
Download your free character journal printable on this page and make as many copies as you need for your personal family. Each of the thirty pages has the following sections to fill in. These are blank sections with room for your child to fill in the information. You can use one page per day, one page per week, or whatever works for your family best. I think it would be fun to have character challenges where you all work on the same character trait for one week using the journal and then come together to discuss before picking the next character trait to develop together.
- name of character trait
- character trait definition
- related Bible verse
- related Bible person
- how to display this character trait
- action steps to exhibit the character trait that day
Reading Books about Character
Reading books is a great way to teach. You can read books specifically about character traits or you can choose books where the characters demonstrate qualities you’d like to see in your kids. Both of these approaches will help your child’s character training.
Seeds and Trees: A Book About the Power of Words. By Brandon Walden
Sir Bernard: the Good Knight by Steven Green (audiobook)