How To Help Your Kids Grow In Godly Character

One of your top priorities as a parent should be to help your kids grow in Godly character. Our main purpose for homeschooling our kids has always been to influence them and shape their values while training them in character.

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Character training prepares our kids to do better academically and is the most important fruit we can nurture in their lives. If our kids were taught nothing but character, they would be better prepared for life than those who are taught pure academics, but no character. 

How To Help Your Kids Grow In Godly Character

Kids helping with laundry Text on image reads how to help your kids grow in godly character

While academics are important, we need to be careful that we don’t let academics distract us from what really matters!

As homeschooling parents, our kids are with us every day all day, which gives us the opportunity to notice their character flaws and spend time helping them to develop and grow in those areas where they struggle. However, we need to be proactive and have a plan in place for character training. 

Don’t just assume your kids will develop good character because you homeschool them, or because they go to Sunday School every week, etc. Since it is our job as parents to teach and train them in Godly character,  we need to have a plan for how we are going to do that.

How do you raise a child with a good character?

What are Godly character traits? Here are some ways to help your kids grow in Godly character.

1. Teach character by example

Our kids are always watching what we do, and how we respond. We have to set an example for them of Godly character before we can expect them to develop it. No matter what we say or teach, our kids are going to do what we do.

2. Teach character through correction

When your children are disobedient or unkind, it’s an opportunity to train them in Godly character. Take them to God’s Word and show them what He says about that behavior, and what pleases Him. This is a great way not only to help them develop Godly character but also gets God’s Word into their heart and mind.

3. Make character training a priority

Even though you believe it is important to focus on character training, if you don’t make it a priority early in the day, it is likely to get pushed aside. By scheduling it at the beginning of the day, you make sure it gets done.

4. Focus specifically on one character trait at a time through daily character lessons

Not sure which character trait to start with? Think about what is frustrating you the most in your kids’ behavior. That usually can be tied to a character flaw, so start with that trait.

How to focus on and teach a character trait

For example, I will give ideas for how to teach self-control:

1. Teach the meaning or definition of the character trait

Self-control is doing what is right even when I don’t feel like it.

2. Teach what the character trait looks like

Self-control includes:  controlling your anger, not speaking words that are hurtful, getting up on time, and doing what you are supposed to right away. It means you will control your tongue and your actions, and do what is right even when you don’t feel like it.

2. Teach and memorize a Bible verse that relates to the trait  Proverbs 25:28

Explain that when we lose self-control, we are like a city with broken-down walls. In Bible times they put walls around their cities to protect themselves from their enemies. Those walls made the city like a fort. The walls were to keep the danger out.

When we lose self-control we are like a city whose walls are broken down.  When we have no self-control it is much easier for the devil to tempt us to sin, and we have no protection from that temptation.

3. Teach with hands-on activities or games

Get Nerf dart guns or rolled-up socks to use for attacking. Divide the kids into teams, and let both teams make a fort to protect themselves. (couch cushions, chairs covered with blankets, big boxes, etc.)  Let them have a “battle” from the safety of their fort. Then have the two teams or opponents have another battle but with no fort or protection.

Afterward talk about how they felt with no protection, and how much harder it was to keep safe from attack with no walls.

4. Roleplay right and wrong reactions

Let the kids take turns showing the wrong reaction (no self-control) and then the right one (self-control, good attitude) for each of these situations:

  • Your sister/brother calls you a name
  • You want a piece of candy and Mom says no
  • Your sister suggests doing something that Mom said not to do
  • Your brother is purposefully annoying you by singing in a loud, annoying voice even though you have asked him to stop.
  • A sibling said they would play a game with you, but now they won’t play.
  • You want to play, but Mom gave you chores to do first.
  • Mom won’t buy you the toy you asked for when you were at the store.

5. Give positive feedback and encouragement

When you see one of the kids showing self-control, praise them and let them know how pleased you are. That encourages them (and the other kids) to try to show self-control.

Developing Christian Character in Children

Using a chart and giving them check marks or stickers each time they show good character is a great way to keep you looking for the opportunity to give positive feedback. (rather than noticing the negative behavior more often than not)

(These ideas for teaching self-control were taken from Little Lads & Ladies of Virtue  and Lads & Ladies of Wisdom character curricula.)

How do you teach a child character?

  • Teach through example
  • Teach through correction
  • Make character training a priority
  • Focus on a specific trait with daily lessons

Remember, character training is one of the most important things you can do for your kids!

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14 Responses

  1. Greate pieces. Keep writing such kind of information on your site.
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  2. Fantastic website you have here but I was curious if you knew of any discussion boards that cover the same topics discussed
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  3. Lee, so glad it was helpful to you! I hear ya on the getting caught in working on ALL. So easy to do, isn’t it?!

  4. Thank you so much for these points. It was a great to be reminded of #4 especially. I can get caught up in working on “all” which then turns into to something other than character training 🙂 …. instead, focusing on one at a time is so much better! Thanks again.

  5. Oh so glad it worked well with them! Ha – I’m sure they loved the role play. 🙂

  6. Worked really well with my kids. They loved the role play ideas and throwing teddies at their siblings!

  7. The link in the email was supposed to take me to a post about how parents can walk the talk, but instead it brought me here to an article that, I believe, was from Day 1 of the blog party. I thought I’d let you know in case it’s incorrect.

  8. This is a great overview Kathie of how to teach our kids character. Using specific words of character (be a loyal friend, be diligent and go the extra mile, be attentive while you listen) instead of more generic words like ‘good’ helped the kids shape their choices and actions.

    I’m looking forward to the series this month.

  9. Hi Karyn! Glad you liked the examples. Hope this whole party will be a help and blessing to you!

  10. FYI the first link visit the character corner does not work. Not sure if it’s supposed to be facebook or what. I am already on your fb pages but just thought I would let you know it’s not working.

  11. Hi Kathie,

    Thank you for the example above. Sometimes, I think I need a “classification chart” to properly address issues. i love the examples you use….one might think you’d raised 8 kids or something 😂.

    Thank you & SChoolhouse Teachers for an awesome giveaway.

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