Top 10 Character Traits I Hope to Instill In My ChildrenMarlene Griffith
As parents, we strive to offer our kids the best life we know how to offer. I’m not talking about perfection or giving them everything they ever wanted. I’m talking about instilling character traits in their hearts, planning little seeds that will grow into strong roots. Those roots, in turn, will lead them throughout life offering them a solid foundation in who they are.
There are several ideas I want to instill in my children, but these ten are the ones I find to be of most value. My focus on these values and character traits helps me establish my parenting priorities.
How to Handle Failure
Teach them how to handle failure. This is an invaluable trait that many lack today and many struggle with today. Allow your kids to fail, don’t try to bail them out of every trial they face. But be there to help them work through that failure gracefully.
Be honest, even if it means you miss out. Lying is a sneaky little thing. We justify little lies here and there, but sooner than later they become big ones. We begin to challenge situations by lying ourselves out of them, so that we can come out well on the other side. This is not easy, as it goes against the very grain of our sinful nature. But when we train ourselves to always be honest, it simply becomes the norm – no matter how hard it is (and it will be hard more often than not).
Respect and get to know your siblings. This is a funny one, as many don’t really think about it. Most kids just grow up like “oh yea, this is my sister” or “this is my brother”. But they rarely are privileged in getting to know one another, accept, and respect one another as individuals. All too often this results in grown adult siblings having nothing to do with each other and when they do, it’s so awkward they can’t wait until the moment is over.
Thank God daily, regardless of your circumstance. All too often we fail to thank God when things are going good, we tend to turn to Him when we need something, and if He delivers – we then thank Him. We must learn to thank Him and praise Him, even when times are hard. We must learn that even in those difficult times, He has a plan and it is perfect. And, it’s okay if we don’t know what that plan is.
Manage your finances well. Financial burdens are one of the top struggles in adult life. When we head into adult life with a good handle on how to manage our finances, we are less likely to face those hardships down the road. And if for some reason we do, we will still be able to work through it with much more grace than if we had no clue in the first place.
Respect for Elders
Be kind to your elders, love them, be patient with them, listen to them when they speak to you. Our elderly population is living history. All too often they are forgotten, left alone, and consequently feel alone.
Be selfless. Selfishness like lying is a sneaky little bug. It’s one of our founding and most natural go-to feelings. We must learn, and constantly remind ourselves, that we cannot and will not always have it our way.
Be flexible. Life will not always go the way you plan. Allow yourself to bend and allow for flexibility.
Keep your word, even when it’s hard. We’re a fickle people, us humans. We tend to say what we would like to do and commit to something because it sounded nice on Monday, only to change our minds when Friday comes around because we no longer feel like it. If you aren’t sure, say that. If you don’t want to, say that too. If you agree to something, commit to doing it, and do it.
Reverence for God
And last but definitely not least —fear and serve God. When children learn that God is greater than anything, they realize that it’s Him who is in control. It’s Him we turn to at all times, in good and in bad. It’s Him who will guide us through this life. And that His plan is perfect, always, and forever.
So, I’m curious. What are some character traits and values do you instill in your children?