Parents, and those in ministry, stress ourselves out at times because we desire for our kids and students to love Jesus with their whole hearts. We take our job seriously. And even though we ultimately know that each child will make a choice to follow, or not follow, Jesus, we want to be sure we are doing all that WE can to present the gospel and Christian life in an appropriate way.
Amanda from www.apinchoffaith.com gives some tips for teaching character traits to young children. Enjoy!!
Whether you are a parent, nanny, caregiver, or a Sunday school teacher, you know how difficult it can be to raise children. No matter what age, or gender, all children have their good moments and their bad ones. Temptation and curiosity are everywhere, and for an innocent child, it is easy to fall prey to their temptations and curiosity. Why? Because they don’t know any better. It’s our job to instill the core values in them and make sure that they are led down the right path.
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. ~Proverbs 22:6
We are instructed by God to train up children in righteousness. But the biggest problem we face is how and when to start. There are no real instruction books telling us how to handle every situation that arises or how to be the perfect parent or teacher, but by building a foundation based on the Good Book (the Bible) we can train our children up to help them stay on the right path.
The first question we have to answer is how can we instill a biblical based foundation in our children? The best way we can accomplish this is by instilling character qualities. There are 49 main character qualities that I believe are important to teach your children. These are character qualities that will take years to fully instill in them but will be worth the hard work on your end in the long run.
The next question we have to ask ourselves is when should we start training children up? The answer isn’t quite clear. If you’re a parent, it’s really up to you. You can start training your young children, (older infants and younger toddlers) by teaching them patience and obedience through blanket training. It’s a great way to start training your children in a fun manner.
For those of you who are daycare, or Sunday School, teachers this is not really an option for you. When dealing with children, try to encourage character qualities by explaining the desired behaviors. It can be that simple…and sometimes it is soooooo not that simple. (It’s usually the latter). For teachers I find it takes A LOT of repeating yourself, A LOT of patience, and A LOT of love.
Teaching children character qualities is hard. It takes years and years for children to master learning and using them. A few ways to make learning character qualities easy and fun are:
- Start off by using them yourself. Monkey see, monkey do, right?
- Take small steps. Each character quality is going to take time to learn and use in everyday life.
- Use positive reinforcement. Each small step deserves praise and love. When your child sees that what she’s doing is good and right, she will want to do it. By starting at a young age when they still want to please you is crucial. By building that positive relationship in the beginning, teaching character qualities will become easier and easier as time goes on.
- Make it fun! Playing games that teach character qualities can make it fun and exciting and is a great way to repetitively practice a character quality without it getting tiresome. Even books can be used!
- Give them a challenge! When children get a bit older (elementary/middle school) they love to complete and win challenges! Give them the challenge to choose, try, and apply one character trait to their life for a week, or something that you think that will be attainable for that child. (Never make your child’s goals unattainable. That will lead the child to negative feelings towards the goal itself.)
- Use crafts to get your message across! Here’s a great idea here!
By teaching your children, or students, character traits in creative, fun and loving ways, you can ensure that your child will grow and flourish in the love of God and will not deter from the righteous path that has been set before them.
How do you teach your children about character traits? What’s your favorite trait to teach?
I’m Amanda. Nanny, Day Care and Sunday School teacher with ten years experience. Now blogger and virtual assistant at A Pinch of Faith, I enjoy speaking on topics such as biblical living, organization, DIY, simple living, and much more.