Blog  /  Parenting, Toddlers  /  Reflections of a New Mom | 6 Character Building Tips {for Toddlers}

character building tips for toddlers

Let’s be honest with one another for a moment.

Do you have a plan for building your children’s character?

I’m serious… do you?!

Personally, I consider myself fortunate when my children go to bed well fed, bathed and without having thrown >5 tantrums in a day.  Now being intentional in building character in my children?  That’s only for the really amazing parents, right?!

Not so much!

Thankfully with resources like what Family Matters provides to today’s family, we can be intentional in teaching our children about character, even when they are young.

Below you’ll see the six character traits that Dr. Kimmel outlines in his book, Raising Kids Who Turn Out Right. For each of the character traits, I’ve chosen one practical action point that you can do to start building character in your toddler’s hearts.

Six Character Building Tips {for Toddlers}

1. Faith

Let them see you reading your Bible each morning.  As Stacy mentioned in her post Word to the Weary Mom, there will come a day when you are back in a position to devote hours to Bible study.  But, for now, use short devotions instead of long Bible studies.  You will be amazed at how God will meet you where you are right now.

“The life of faith isn’t a done deal just because our kids prayed a prayer one day.  It’s a walk. A journey. And our job of modeling it is never over.  As we live it out each day, we find that we, too, benefit.” (pg 62, Raising Kids Who Turn Out Right)

2. Integrity

Apologize when you wrong your children.  Do you ever discipline your toddler out of anger?  Apologize.  Yes – even to your toddler.  As they say, more is caught than taught.  We want our children growing up to be women and men who are quick to admit fault.

“All other skills and talents, regardless of how carefully defined, must submit to the demands of integrity.” (pg 67, Raising Kids Who Turn Out Right)

3. Poise

Have your children verbally thank the people who regularly help them (teacher, friend, Sunday school teacher, pastor, etc).  

“Poise is gentle strength.  Parents leave a legacy of love to their children when they transfer skills that make the most of moments and relationships.”  (pg 87, Raising Kids Who Turn Out Right)

4. Discipline

Assign daily chores and hold them responsible to perform them. Some examples of chores that are appropriate for toddlers might be to help make their bed, pick up their toys and books or help to feed pets.

“Discipline helps children live up to their potential, their gifts, and their capabilities.  It gives them a sense of confidence as they move into the future.  Dreams more frequently come true for children who see that discipline consistently pays off.” (pg 102, Raising Kids Who Turn Out Right).

5. Endurance

Show your child(ren) how to save money by putting money they receive into a piggy bank/savings account.  Have them save a certain sum of money that you agree to match once they meet their goal.

“If we want to pass on eternal character traits along the way, we’re going to hit walls every day.  That’s why endurance must be a part of our personal makeup as well as one of the character traits we want to hand off to our children.” (pg 117, Raising Kids Who Turn Out Right)

6. Courage

Visit a fire department and ask one of the fire fighters to tell your child(ren) what it means to be courageous.  

“Each day presents us with opportunities to teach our children about courage.  We may develop great outlines and stirring lectures on faith, integrity, poise, discipline and endurance, but if our kids don’t see us courageously living out these character traits, they won’t be inclined to pursue them.” (pg 138, Raising Kids Who Turn Out Right)

Stephanie Flies

Steph Flies is the Social Media Director for Family Matters, Director of City Moms Blog Network and the Co-founder of Scottsdale Moms Blog. She is mamma to Nora (July 2009) and Elsie (May 2011) and wife of Alan. She’s a recovering legalist and loves learning how to create an atmosphere of grace in her home.

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Comments

  1. Stacy says:

    Great post, Steph! These tips are so simple and practical and, yet, teach such important character traits.

  2. Stephanie Flies says:

    Thanks Stacy! Glad to be “in the thick of raising little ones” with such great women like you!

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