Here’s a really simple way to teach good character traits to your kids. It comes to us from one of our favorite experts on the subject: Dr. Scott Turanksy.
When helping children grow and change, we want to be practical with them. That means that we give specific instructions about what we want them to do, not just what they shouldn’t do. One way to be practical as we help children develop character is to use working definitions. We use these often in our counseling to help children understand life more clearly. Here are some examples, but you can be creative and think of many more.
- Obedience is doing what someone says right away, without being reminded.
- Honor is treating people as special, doing more than what’s expected, and having a good attitude.
- Perseverance is hanging in there, even after you feel like quitting.
- Attentiveness is showing people you love them by looking at them when they say their words.
- Patience is waiting with a happy heart.
- Self-discipline is putting off present rewards for future benefits.
- Gratefulness is being thankful for the things I have, instead of grumbling about the things I don’t have.
As you see the challenges your child faces, think about a character quality that will help that child face the challenge successfully. Then develop a definition specific for the need. Just choose one character quality that your child needs right now and teach how to put that character quality into practice. Post the definition around the house. This is a positive way to give kids a vision for what you want.
What is one of the things you focus on when teaching your children to have good character?
Dr. Scott Turansky is an author and speaker known for his heartfelt parenting approach. He offers moms practical, real-life advice for many of parenting’s greatest challenges and is the founder of the National Center for Biblical Parenting.