An essential aspect of parenting is raising a child with strong character. Applying these ideas can help you support your child as they develop strong character traits.
1. Offer a specific verbal praise.
When you praise specific character traits, you are showing your child what is expected of them. This encouragement will help your child develop these traits.
For example, to help your child build a strong value of friendship, you can offer comments like, “You’re a good friend to Juan because you take turns when he comes to play.”
To reinforce your child’s efforts at problem solving, let your child know you saw their problem solving efforts with comments like, “Wow, that looked difficult. You worked very hard to find a solution.”
If you want to inspire honesty in your child, you might say, “I appreciate that you were honest when you told me you didn’t brush your teeth. Now let’s go brush them together.”
2. Volunteer together.
Even small children can learn to be volunteers. Instill the value of helping others by introducing your child to volunteering. When teach your child to help others, you are teaching them to become an active participant in the community.
3. Give specific consequences for untruths.
Parents often struggle to encourage honest behavior. One way to discourage lying is to give a separate consequence for the lie.
Technically, there may be times when you need to give two consequences: one for not telling the truth and a second for the inappropriate behavior.
For example, if your child told you he did his homework, and an hour later you found he didn’t, you would give two consequences. One for lying and another for not doing homework. This parenting technique discourages lying and encourages truth.
A way to explain it to your child may be to say, “If you had told the truth about not doing your homework, you would have been grounded for 2 days. However, because you lied about it, that increases the consequence.”
4. Discuss the important character traits.
As you teach character traits to your children, explain why each is important and how it has helped you in adulthood.
5. Model the character traits that are important to you.
The most effective way to build strong character is to build the positive traits in yourself. If you want your children to have good character, remember that you are their best role model.
6. Give each child regular tasks.
Assign tasks to your children that they can complete independently. This helps form the first skills in learning to be independent.
Praise them for how well they did.
Acknowledge their efforts with a look, a pat on the back, or a quick hug.
Combine these actions with your positive verbal feedback: “I’m so proud of you for sweeping the kitchen. It really helped me.”
By practicing these methods, you are instilling a sense of morality in your children so that they know how to make the right choice.