6 Ways to Build Godly Character in Your Tween

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What is Godly character and what does Godly character look like in your tween?

Parenting any age it’s easy to get lost in analyzing our children’s behavior. The tweens are no different.

Parent and child alike find themselves in an awkward stage of “is it too much or not enough?” Throw in “testing limits” and the start of hormones and we begin to see we are in new parenting territory. Soon we have as many questions as they do!

How do I deal with a tween attitude?

How can I communicate with my tween?

Why are tweens so difficult?

Those are all good things to ask, but often, we miss the most important question. How can we win their hearts for life? Hint: These ways of Building Godly Character is a huge part of this!

6 Ways to Build Godly Character in Your Tween

Happy Tween Girl laying on the floor with her cat. Text on image reads:6 Ways to Build Godly Character in Your Tween

As tween parents, we have a great opportunity! Between the ages of 8-12, our children’s hearts are moldable. They generally care what we think. The words we speak and the values we hold dear still have meaning to them (even if they don’t always show it).

Most often we are the main influence in their lives.

But as they grow and peer influence tips the scales we begin to wonder. Is it possible for them to grow in Godly character and hold onto their hearts?

I believe with a lot of prayer, intentional Godly character building and heart strategies it is possible!

1 Tim 4:12 Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.

Today we are going to look at Ideas for Building Godly Character in Your Kids

But first, let’s take a minute to focus on Mom (I bet you don’t do that enough!)

Tween Mom Care: Take Care of Your Heart

We can’t effectively build Godly character in our tweens if we don’t first take care of our hearts. Believe me, I’ve tried! We need tons of wisdom, refreshment for our souls, and God’s strength to parent in a way that would honor Him. There is no lasting substitution. The only way to set our parenting on a firm foundation and build Godly character in your tweens is to be in God’s word and prayer.

As a busy Mom, are you worried about fitting it into your schedule? I understand! But I can’t begin to tell you how faithful He has been to lead me in the amount of time I have. If you are intentional in meeting with Him daily you will notice the difference! He is where we will find hope for the hopeless days, strength for the emotional battles and loads of grace to return to!

Find Some Tween Mom Support

Mom, we need all kinds of support! As our kids grow and change, we have to be continually learning as parents. Did you think the constant need to “figure this parenting thing out” would decrease after the baby stage? I really did! I thought at some point I would just “get it”. Yes, I was wrong 😃

It could be true for a time. Maybe you start to feel like you are getting the hang of it and then.. welcome to parenting the tweens! Thankfully we have so many resources to tap into to help us navigate things well. We can read parenting books and blog posts, listen to podcasts and ask for resource ideas in parenting groups.

We also need “been there done that” kind of wisdom! None of us can do this alone. In fact, we shouldn’t. It’s not the way God intended it! We are created for community. Find support in friendships with other Moms in Mom’s Groups and Homeschool Co-ops.

We should continue to learn by talking with each other while we’re in the trenches and praying for one another. We can come together, support and encourage one another and learn! A win-win for us all.

Tween Character Building Tips

Now that you’ve taken good care of your heart. Let’s switch focus to them. We’ll take a look at 6 Ways to Build Godly Character in Your Tween.

Pray For and With Your Tween

I can’t say this enough. Pray often. Pray together or for them when they can hear you. In public and in private. Invite them to pray with you. Just pray! It is an incredibly powerful tool.

You have a direct parenting tip line to the one who created both you and your child! Think about that. Who could know better? Praying in the tween stage is a great way to bring both of your hearts in line with God’s will. He will help you see clearly what steps to take to build His character in our children.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thes 5:16-18

{Want some help in this area? Find out how to encourage your tween child to pray and get a FREE 30 Day Printable Prayer Calendar for them. It has verses pertaining to a lot of the struggles they are dealing with today!}

Embrace Empathy For Your Tween

Come with me for a moment.. think back to your pre-teen years. What comes to mind? Do you remember feeling awkward or unsure of yourself? What about feeling a little bit crazy when experiencing emotions for the first time? Did you ever just want someone to acknowledge your feelings or say “it’s ok?”.

Even though these years can be a roller-coaster of emotions, I want to encourage you to hang on to empathy. When we help them to understand and process their own feelings, they are more likely to show concern for other’s feelings. We can ask good questions to help them handle problems as they arise.

  • How do you think that made them feel?
  • What would you want someone to say to you in that situation?
  • Can you think of a way to help them feel better?

Sibling squabbles and growing friendships are great areas that teach empathy to tweens.

Take Advantage of the Teachable Moments With Your Tween

This is a beautiful gift that God gives us in parenting! It’s incredibly important and often overlooked because of the busyness of life. We can be so focused on getting things done (been there) that we breeze by the opportunity.

There are many times where I have had to pray for the strength to stop and use a situation to help teach them Godly character. But my kids will also be the first to tell you I find many opportunities for teachable moments, I really love this aspect of parenting!

Here are a few things to remember about building Godly character in your tween through teachable moments:

It’s a two-way conversation. These moments aren’t forced and we aren’t preaching at them. Instead, it’s a chance to go back and forth. Take each step intentionally in your conversation. Fight against defaulting to a flurry of parenting instruction.

They often go deeper with a little prompting. Even if I recognize a teachable moment, the depth of it often depends on two things. The questions I ask and the amount of time I devote to the situation. Don’t get me wrong, taking advantage of small teachable moments is key. But if you feel the Holy Spirit lead, don’t hesitate to go further!
This brings me to the last point of prayer. As parents, we should pray both for the moments to come and for softened hearts to help us acknowledge them. Also, prayer, while you are in it, is key! A lot of the important and even “tough topic talks” with my kids began with teachable moments.
Take advantage of teachable moments. This gives our children real-life examples of attentiveness, patience, and flexibility. Best of all it helps them to learn to acknowledge these moments to keep learning on their own!

Build Godly Character in Your Tween as You Show Interest in Them

This one is easy and tough all in the same! In the tweens, it’s important that our kids know that we value what they value. This helps them to feel secure. It also helps keep us connected to them in these new areas that they are branching out to. They will come to us for our opinion more if we show interest in what they are interested in.

One of the biggest lies Satan loves to beat tweens and teens up with is that the parents don’t care.. or that no one really cares. Then they step out to find someone or something that does “care” about them.

The easy part is when we share interests! Keep noticing any little or big ways you share interests with your child. Try to do little intentional things to encourage it. The hard part is when their interests are not at all the same as yours. The best thing you can do in this case is listening and try to learn. You may not come to know every detail of everything they enjoy but do pay attention to knowing their favorites!

Ask questions about the things they like. Trying to find ways to incorporate it into their homeschool or their regular day is a bonus! Even asking them to share 1 random fact here and there about what they enjoy can go a long way in their hearts. They will know that it may not be an interest of yours. They will see you are showing them, genuine love, because you are choosing the person over the hobby or interest.

When we show them real-life examples of this, they will often reciprocate. They will understand that their friends may not have all the same hobbies or interests. More importantly, they will be able to show God’s love to others by coming up with ways to encourage them despite the difference!

Let Your Tween Branch Out Safely

Does this thought make you a little, nervous? It’s ok, me too! Tweens branching out safely will look different for each family. But it is a part of the tween parenting stage. In the beginning, it will be small things.

Notice when they have been diligent in an area consistently. It’s a great starting point. This can prompt you to encourage them in their progress and hand over more control in another area. This process will not only be different for each family but for each child in the family!

The exciting thing is that Godly character building can already begin to show fruit in the tweens. This is a real encouragement to parents as we know character building is a process we need to continue throughout their childhood. Building Godly character in our children can make branching out an easier process.

Be Flexible in Tween Parenting

If you haven’t already noticed there is a lot of flexibility required in tween parenting! If you try something and it’s not working, it’s ok to try another approach! Prayer is a great tool in this area. God can lead us and guide us down the different paths needed to parent our child for His glory.

Remember that building Godly character in our kids is going to start with our hearts and walk with the Lord. Following His word and His ways will overflow abundantly into your parenting! Your tween child is growing, changing and branching out. This is a beautiful thing! By making building Godly character and winning their hearts a priority, you are setting them up for the best foundation you can offer them!

If you are looking for more Tween Parenting Encouragement, I would love to have your join our FREEBIES Hub of Biblical Resources where you can download your FREE ebook, worksheets, printables, resource kit and more! Click on the picture for more information.

Joining you in the in be”tween”,



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Lee Felix is a daily redeemed Christ follower and wife of 20 years who’s called ‘mama’ by five of the BEST kiddos you ever did meet. Transparently sharing her journey through imperfect yet intentional parenting, she has a heart to encourage and equip other like-minded mamas  
She’s an experienced Blogger, Content Strategist, Speaker, and Creator of Christian Resources. She’s found her “happy place” in online business and ministry serving others. Being a delightfully awkward introvert and avoider of small talk, she’ll never pass up a one on one conversation or an opportunity to dive into the heart of the issue with you over copious amounts of coffee.
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Ways to build Godly character in your tweens

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8 Responses

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  3. Loved this post, Lee! I appreciate that you started with OUR hearts — that daily time in the Word is so essential. At each stage there are new challenges that keep us on our knees, aren’t there? Thank you for your wise words!

  4. Emmie, so glad this was encouraging to you! ~Kathie

  5. So true! It is up to us to teach our kids, and much of that is done by our example. It’s our job and our privilege! ~Kathie

  6. Thank you for your wisdom. I have found it all too common that our neighbors are able to communicate their values and faiths to their kids but we as Christians leave that up to Sunday school teachers. Our kids need to SEE who we are becoming and HEAR about who we love and PARTICIPATE with us as we serve Him. Too often we want to give our faith rather than share our faith. Doing WITH our kids daily will pass our our faith and values.

  7. This is so encouraging! Thank you for some wonderful reminders!

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