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Building your Child's Character

Updated: Oct 15, 2020

One of the most important jobs you do as a parent is build the characters of your children. Building your child's character ensures your child grows up to be a hard worker, caring individual, and honest person. Here are 6 ideas that are most effective!



Implementing these ideas can help you successfully develop good character in your child:


1. Provide specific verbal encouragement. When you give comments specific to a character aspect you wish to develop in your child, you're providing your child with some subtle directions about how to behave.


  • For example, if you want your child to value friendships and being a good friend, you could offer feedback such as, "You're a very good friend to John because you let him go first when he comes over to play."

  • To reinforce your child's efforts to be polite and understanding, let your child know you notice his polite and understanding ways through comments such as, "Wow, that was really nice of you to keep your cool when your sister took your candy."

  • When you want to instill honesty in your child, you could say something like "I like the way you were honest about not brushing your teeth. Let's go brush them now."


2. Volunteer together. Even young children can be taken to the homeless shelter to hand out sandwiches. Instill the value of helping others by introducing your child to volunteer activities. When you help others in the presence of your child, he sees that volunteering to help others is important.


  • This helps build their character in a sense of value that they can always offer others. We all go through tough seasons and they will too, but in every season there is something we can offer to help others.


3. Give separate consequences for being untruthful. Parents often struggle to figure out how to encourage truthful behavior. One way to extinguish lying behaviors is to issue a separate consequence for the act of lying itself.


  • Technically, there will be times when you're providing 2 consequences: a consequence for the untruth told as well as for the unacceptable behavior. For example, if your child told you he got his homework done and an hour later you discover he didn't, you'd give 2 consequences.

  • One consequence would be for telling a lie and the other for not getting his homework done. This suggested parenting technique discourages lying and encourages truth-telling.

  • You can explain that "If you would have told the truth about not getting your homework done, you would have been grounded for 2 days. Now, since you lied about it, that's another 2 days of grounding."



4. Briefly discuss important traits. As a parent, you can teach patience by talking about how we all must occasionally wait in lines. Give examples like how you wait your turn at the grocery store or the doctor's office. Explain it's the normal way of things whenever there are a lot of people involved.


  • Make a list of what traits are important in your family. If you don't clearly know, we cant expect them to know. You may be surprised how quickly they "want" to follow these traits once they are written down and communication consistently.


5. Model character traits that matter to you. Of course, the best way to build character is to demonstrate positive traits in the company of others. If you want your children to have good character, keep in mind you're their best model. In everything you do, vow to "be the lesson" that's best learned through observation.


6. Assign tasks regularly to each child. Set up tasks for your kids to complete on their own so they learn self-reliance. Then compliment them on how well they did. Reinforce their efforts with a look, a pat on the back, or a quick hug. Couple these things with your positive verbal feedback, "I'm so proud of you for sweeping the kitchen. That really helped me out."


As you practice these methods, recognize you're instilling a sense of morality in your kids, so they know how to determine what the right choice is.


You have the awesome power to build your child's character. Take advantage of this power by using it wisely and your kids will enjoy these values and skills for their entire lives.

Let me genuinely encourage you, YOU are doing a great job already! If you are someone that took the time to read this post to learn more, I know that you are "intentionally" doing your best to serve the next generation. Whether it's your children or not. You are making a difference for good!


All in Excellence,


- Jordan Mossman



P.S. All through the month of October 2020, we will be hosting FREE Leadership Development workshops for youth. The events are virtual so anyone can connect from anywhere. Message me if you would like to participate in one of these. Kids are awarded a certificate by the John Maxwell Team.





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