When it comes to successfully build character in your kids, especially at a young age, it’s something you must be intentional about. I can quickly think of times when my children were younger and instead of intervening, I would let them work it out.
Needless to say, over the years I began to see that instilling good character traits in my children were going to come from all the teachable moments I once overlooked.
Keep reading for practical ways to build strong character in your kids.
Why is character development important?
Although the meaning of character development is self-explanatory, what doesn’t always comes as easy is understanding why it’s important and how to be intentional about teaching it. The truth of the matter is the development of good character will have lasting effects on the child’s life.
When looking at the big picture, the development of character goes much further than teaching moral values. It’s also about raising children who will be rooted in Christ and ready to make a difference in the world.
Character training also comes into play through life’s challenges, which we can all agree will come. Parents need to see this type of development as important life skills that will be necessary for now and later in life. Here are several practical ways to get started.
5 Steps to Successfully Build Character in Your Kids
Step 1: Use every opportunity to build character on a regular basis.
If there’s one thing that’s needed in old and young children alike, it’s consistency. While you don’t always have to be in the judge’s seat, coming with a courtroom-like feel every time your children argue, complain, or lie, can be overwhelming.
Instead, utilize wisdom on how to approach each individual situation. As I mentioned before, looking back over the course of raising my children, I realize there are times I should have stepped in and intervened. Other times, they were able to take what they were taught and correctly implement it.
If you lack wisdom, the book of James says to ask for it. Speaking of which…
Step 2: Get in the habit of praying before approaching a teachable moment.
In this post, I shared how in the heat of the moment, I wasn’t always quick to stop and pray. Instead, I’d storm into my daughters’ room and instantly attempt to get to the bottom of whatever was going on. That’s why I’m encouraging you, mom, to pray before doing anything.
This is also setting a good example for your children. When they see mom exhibiting positive character traits, they will initially follow suit.
Step 3: Approach the situation calmly.
Yes, this will take practice, especially if you were like me and would rather go in, fix it, and be done with it. Instead, approaching the situation in a calm manner will help your children begin to calm down. I hate to say it, but sometimes our own behavior can heighten a situation and cause a ripple effect.
One of the most important things to keep in mind is your children are always learning. And as their parents, we’re either showing them what to do or what not to do.
Step 4: Address your children’s character with the word of God.
If you want to raise children who are strong in their faith, it must be a part of their everyday life. Raising kids in today’s world can be difficult, but the best way to build Biblically-based character is to bring God into every chance you get.
I don’t expect you to have every Scripture memorized that you could possibly use, but you can start with a few that will help the circumstances that most commonly occur in your home. If your children are always arguing with one another, you (and they) could memorize Philippians 2:3 (or verses 3-5). This will help your kids see the significant role that God plays in their life and family values.
If you need help in using God’s Word to build character in your kids, check out our Character Training Charts here.
Step 5: Always offer kindness, understanding, and love.
There’s no doubt that kids struggle in life. They are not born with great character already programmed in them. This makes it all the more important that we focus a good bit of our parenting on teaching our children good values. Not to mention, there will be outside influences who may try to teach them the contrary.
When you teach your kids how to do the right thing, you help combat that. When approaching a learning moment, remember to be gentle, kind, and loving.
These tips are practical, but I also realize they may take some time to implement into your parenting style. Many of us were not taught a better way to teach character development in our children. But it’s never too late to start.
A solid character foundation is essential to raise your child to lead & influence for Jesus. You’re invited to discover how to raise your kids to lead & influence for Jesus by using our 4 Steps to Raising Christian Leaders. Just enter your name & email below.
To help you get organized, I have a 3-part video course, called How to Simplify Your Homeschool. Although I could charge for this course, I’m giving it to you completely free. Just enter your name & email below.
Then, check your Inbox for your first lesson. Each day, I’ll email you a short video with a quick task to get started. You’ll also receive my How to Simplify Your Homeschool Workbook for free. Each video has a one-page task to get you started on the way to confidently homeschooling your children this year.
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