Raising kids with good character is one of my big goals.
It is harder today more than ever to do that with many broken families, loss of values in society, the internet and violent video games to name a few.
These factors and a bunch more make parenting especially challenging today.
But, it is still possible to raise kids with good character in the midst of all of that.
Do you want to know how? Let me walk you through some key steps to raising a child with good character.
Lead by example
One of the very best things you can do is to set a good example.
Don’t worry that your children don’t seem to listen to you, worry that they are always watching you.
More times than not, they are watching your every move. From how you respond to your husband. To what you do when someone makes you upset.
What are you inadvertently teaching your children? What generalizations could they logically draw about the world as a whole from your behavior and the things you say?
Take some time to pause and think about this. It’s worth considering what type of example you’re setting. Children look to parents for clues on how to behave and what is or isn’t appropriate.
Develop a strong relationship
There are many books available on managing and disciplining children. But real influence comes from having a strong relationship with your kids.
If your child is confident that you love them, then the example you set and the words you speak will be taken more seriously.
Children feel loved when they are understood, have unconditional acceptance, and know they are the most important things in your life.
Are you wondering how you are doing with your relationship? Ask yourself these questions:
- How many details do you know about your child’s preferences? Do you know their favorite foods, TV shows, names of friends, musical preferences, and names of teachers?
- What do you actually know about their friends? What do you know about their families? How well does your child get along with their friends? What do they do together when you’re not around?
- What does your child do on the Internet? Do they have a Facebook page or email account?
- How well is your child doing in school? What are your child’s favorite and least favorite subjects?
How you answer these questions will let you know if they’re things that you could spend more time learning about your kids.
There are additional steps you can take to instill good values in your children and raise them to have good character. Take advantage of these tips.
Make parenting important
You’re busy. I get it.
But being busy isn’t the same as being a great mom. Provide the time and environment your child needs to thrive.
Do this by making your child a priority in your life and day.
Be an example
Be an example of the values and character you wish to instill in your child. Behave the way you want them to behave.
So when you are driving and someone cuts in front of you and takes the parking spot you wanted. Or when something doesn’t go as planned, take a moment an pause. Then remember your little ones are watching you.
Talk about it
Take every opportunity to discuss your values.
When you see something on TV, the news, or something comes up in everyday life, talk to your child about the issue as it relates to your own personal beliefs.
Let them know what you think is right and wrong. They are listening and are constantly learning from you.
Praise your child when they display positive qualities. Rewarding good behavior with praise is a staple of psychology. Positive reinforcement is the quickest way to tame challenging behavior.
It also makes your child feel noticed and validated. So make an effort to praise 10 good things about your child every day.
Correct inappropriate behavior immediately. If you let it slide, you’re telling your child that their behavior okay.
Sometimes it’s easy to look the other way, but it’s not better.
If you are worried about losing their love because you have reprimanded your child. Don’t. Remember to be firm without being angry.
Get more involved in your child’s life. Show some interest and participate more. Trust me. I know acting like you are interested in playing Transformers or watching Pocoyo is hard.
You’re probably also short on time. Try picking an activity that’s really meaningful to your child and do that for a few minutes each day.
Spend more time together and really talk. Talk with your child and listen more than you talk.
Try to strengthen your bond with your little one. And tell your child that you love them daily.
Raising kids with good character is challenging today.
There are so many negative influences working against you. But you can overcome them.
Children require a good example, love, and your time and attention. If you’re willing to provide these things, you are likely to raise kids that demonstrate your high values and grow into adults with good character.
This post is a part of the series 31 Days of Parenting Tips for Busy Moms With Young Kids. Each day throughout the series I am discussing a different topic regarding parenting young kids. I’d love for you to follow along and share this series with moms who may need some support or just to hear that they aren’t alone in their journey of raising young kids.
Find all of the posts in one place on the series homepage: 31 Days of Parenting Tips for Busy Moms With Young Kids