Often I neglected daily character lessons because I just didn’t know how to focus on and teach specific Godly character traits that were needed.
I finally realized that it was better to just start doing something even if it was just a little teaching. Over time I developed a pattern for teaching each of the specific traits.
I am going to share a sample of that pattern which is taken from the lesson on courage in my Little Lads & Ladies of Virtue Character Curriculum.
How to focus on and teach specific Godly character traits:
(For this example, I will give ideas for teaching courage.)
1. Teach the meaning or definition of the trait.
Courage is doing the right thing even when it’s difficult.
2. Teach what the trait looks like.
Courage is facing your fears with confidence. Courage can be physical, like jumping from a diving board, or moral, like doing the right thing when your friends may laugh at you.
It doesn’t just have to be something you are scared of, but also means doing the honest or right thing.
2. Teach and memorize a Bible verse that relates to the trait. II Timothy 1:7
Remind your children that fear is not of God. He has not given us that spirit, but rather a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind. When they are afraid they need to claim His power.
3. Teach with hands on activities or games.
Talk about the courage of David in the story of David & Goliath.
Then play the game David, David, Goliath. (Same as Duck, Duck, Goose)
Have the kids sit in a circle on the floor. Choose one to walk around tapping each child’s head saying “David, David, David.” When they say “Goliath” the child they tapped chases them around the circle to his old spot.
Then you can talk about the courage of David in the story of David & Goliath.
4. Role play right and wrong reactions.
Have the kids make a fort they can hide behind. Have them stand beside it, and when you read a statement that shows courage, they should stand in front of the fort and stand tall and brave.
When the statement shows foolishness or a lack of courage, have them hide behind the fort.
Some of the statements you can use are:
- Not doing something dangerous even if someone calls you chicken
- Lying to Mom because you are afraid you will get in trouble
- Walking away from a fight
- Doing something you know you shouldn’t because your friends are
5. Give positive feedback and encouragement.
When you see one of the kids showing courage, praise them and let them know how pleased you are. That encourages them (and the other kids) to try to show good character.
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 than the positive.
- Choose a character trait that is needed, and put together a lesson with the ideas given above.
- If you’d rather not write your own, purchase a character curriculum that has the lessons done for you, and begin to teach specific traits regularly.
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