If you are a parent, you know teaching character traits is not for the faint of heart.

Deep down, you know you need to capitalize on teaching good behaviors to your kids, but some days, it just isn’t happening. You are tired, too busy, and feel this is the church’s job.

That’s when the yelling starts. Now you feel guilty and frustrated, but said child will not do what you say.

Like most moms, you strive to do everything you can to raise a good human who loves Jesus, but teaching godly character traits seems complicated when you are juggling family, job, sports, church, etc.

And who said anything about being a teacher? You don’t know how to teach character traits!

I’ll tell you a secret: you teach your kids character traits daily by what you say and do. They are little mirrors reflecting you.

Since you are already teaching character traits, you might as well teach them godly ones, right?

If you want to know how to teach character traits, check out these 9 godly positive character traits. Teaching character traits from this list is a great way to introduce good behavior and incorporate the “why,” which is Jesus.

RELATED: 4 Awesome Reasons to Be a Stay-At-Home Mom: Is It Right For You?

What are Godly Positive Character Traits?

Character traits that are godly are behaviors that make us want to be around another person. The fruits of the Spirit are one example (Gal. 5:22-23). When someone is kind, loving, helpful, and generous, we can’t help but enjoy their company as they reflect Jesus.

Likewise, when a child’s character or personality is unbecoming, we want to run!

Sadly, we are not born with many positive character traits. We are genuinely selfish and proud by nature. We want our way!

Teaching good behavior takes time. It is molded, praised, and formed with lots of prayer and hard work by parents and those in their inner circle; it requires enormous patience.

If you have difficulty starting a conversation, pick out books that teach character traits. You can find lots of them at the library! Use them to reinforce good behavior in times of non-conflict. Once you are done reading, talk about the story.

Teaching Character Traits: 9 Positive Traits That Are Godly

Teaching godly character traits needs to be as much a habit in your household as brushing your teeth and bathing. Practicing them regularly will give your kids a leg up in life.

Check out this list and see how to teach character traits that reflect Jesus. It will reap dividends for a lifetime:

1. Good Attitude

Your child needs to have a good attitude. This is one of the most important positive character traits for kids to have.

When they are younger, they need to accept “no.”

There can be some dialogue when they are older. Let your kids express their disappointments respectfully and ask for reconsideration.

Let them talk.


Think about what they are saying.

If you have reconsidered, and it is still “no, “they need to accept your decision without attitude.

A consistently good attitude may not always happen, so keep working with your kids.

When they are young, they can sit in their room for a few minutes if they don’t express a kind response.

When they are older, do not tolerate back talk. Put a consequence in place that is meaningful

And praise when they get it correct. Eventually, they will learn.

By the way, how is your attitude? If it’s bad, don’t expect your kid’s disposition to improve. Stinky attitudes are learned.

RELATED: How to Discipline Kids: 29 Easy Ways to Get Kids to Obey

2. Grit

When teaching character traits, remember to instill a work ethic that includes grit. Give your kids chores to do every day or almost every day—nothing oppressive, but enough to help them understand they must contribute to the family.

This can start as early as preschool. Use picture books to teach character traits.  They can be checked out at a church or local library.

Find books to teach them how to clean up after themselves when leaving the room. In later years, you can have your kids clean the bathroom, do laundry, mow the lawn, or help with dishes.

Don’t let them move on to free time until these chores are done.

Your kids will need to transfer this work ethic to the classroom. Good students work hard to achieve their goals.

More importantly, they don’t give up when it gets hard. They know how to weather the storms of life. This is one of the most positive character traits for kids to develop.

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3. Accept Personal Responsibility

When your kids do something wrong, teach them to make amends immediately. Not only apologize for what was said or done, but make reparations, if necessary. Remember that broken window? Have them work it off or help fix it!

Pray for the Holy Spirit to convict their hearts when they don’t feel sorry.

If you let them get away with things at home, they will expect the same at school. Your kids will be in for a rude awakening when their teacher or principal isn’t so quick to brush over bad behavior.

This is why teaching character traits is so essential for godly behavior.

4. Teachable

Being teachable is one of the most important positive character traits for kids to have. It is the gateway to all learning. If your kids do not receive instruction, then they will not learn.

You may be wondering how to help your kids be more teachable.  

There are picture books to teach character traits and Bible stories about those who listened and obeyed and those who did not.

When they are older, allow your kids to make decisions and talk about them naturally when they go south. Suggest ways to handle it better and what they did right.

Role-play a problematic situation and coach your child to make the right decision so that they will know what to do when it happens in real life.

And make sure to constantly praise them when they obey, listen, and follow instructions.

Don’t avoid conflict. Embrace every struggle as an opportunity for your kids to develop godly lifelong behaviors.

It will pay off when your kids are older. They will be prepared for life.

RELATED: 50 Easy School Readiness Skills To Teach at Home [Printable Checklist]

5. Forgiveness

Forgiveness is an incredibly positive character trait to teach your kids. If your child is constantly angry, find out why, and find a time you can talk.

Perhaps someone is violating your child’s boundaries, being bullied, or doesn’t know how to navigate a severed friendship.  Once you know, you can help him work through the situation appropriately.

Keep pointing to the end goal of forgiveness.

When kids don’t forgive, grudges manifest over time. It can last for years and play out in horrible ways

Most of all, model forgiveness. You must let go of offenses so your kids know how to do it.

Teaching character traits such as forgiveness is essential. It could save your kids years of heartache or worse.

RELATED: 5 Reasons to Forgive Those Who Hurt You (Even If They Don’t Deserve It)

6. Faith in God

Teach your kids about God. If you do not give them a moral compass, they may make themselves a god in the future. It may not be that big of a deal when they are young,  but it will rear its ugly head when your kids hit their teens.

As a teacher, I have seen this many times: the same scenario, different kids, and the same disastrous outcome. 

Start when they are young. Take them to church, read the Bible to them, pray together, and talk about your faith.

You don’t need to preach to them; you model it by living a godly life. Your actions teach more than anything you say.

If you don’t have faith, you cannot pass it on to the next generation. Instead, it will be something like, “Whatever you feel is right.”

Your kids need more than feelings to get through life. They need a Savior.

This is one of the most important positive character traits for kids to become godly.

RELATED: 29 Creative Ways to Pray (When You Don’t Feel Like Praying)

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7. Love

Teach your kids to love well. Help them to be kind and loving in all of their actions. Don’t let them get away with hitting, spitting, or kicking others or things. Give consequences when this happens.

This starts at home first. Nurture sibling relationships and tell them they will be best friends someday.

Love your kids unconditionally, and they will learn what love looks like from you. If you constantly yell, threaten, or scare your kids, they will not know how to love others well.

Teaching character traits such as love is one of the most powerful ways to help your kids also connect with a loving God

RELATED: Bonding With Children: 9 Ways to Connect With Your Kids

8. Tell the Truth

Teach your kids to tell the truth.

All kids lie at one time or another. Your job is to deal with it early. 

Many parents think it is cute and funny, but it is not. It will become a habit if you don’t catch it soon.

Liars eventually get caught. Many times, the consequences are dire if they occur later in life. Teach your kids to tell the truth now, no matter how small it is.

There are picture books to teach character traits, such as telling the truth. Read them to your kids when they are little over and over. It will reinforce what is good and right.

Praise and reward your kids when they choose the truth when they could have lied because honesty is difficult to choose.

This one positive character trait taught early will save lots of hardship in life later.

9. Respect Authority

Teach your kids to respect authority. This starts at home.

Require your kids to obey you. When they don’t obey, have a consequence that you both have discussed ahead of time so that you know what follows when it happens.

For instance, tell Johnny he needs to put his bike in the garage after he rides it. Inform him that he will not be able to ride the next day if he forgets to do it.

When he does put it up, praise him!

If he forgets, you both know the consequences.

Follow through with the consequences, and don’t let Johnny talk you out of it. If tantrums happen, add an extra day of no riding.

Respect includes you, property, others, and even themselves. Again, it would be best if you modeled the same behavior.

How can your child learn respect if you don’t respect others, the law, or yourself?

Pin it for later!

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Why Is Teaching Character Traits Important?

Teaching character traits is important because God commands us “to train up a child in the way he should go, so he will not depart from it” ( Proverbs 22:6).

This is not to make you panic or demand perfection; it is to help you be aware of your divine responsibility to teach your kids how to follow Jesus and reflect His behavior.

Proverbs 10:1 says, “The proverbs of Solomon: A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son brings grief to his mother”(NIV). (The Bible is one of the best books to teach character traits.)

What you do or don’t do makes a difference in your child’s life. Learn how to teach character traits so it does not bring grief to your household and ruin your family. Take the time to develop positive, godly character traits, and you will enjoy them as adults.

What do you do with your kids when teaching character traits? How do you help them be more godly?

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Julie is a wife, mom, teacher, author, and blogger. She writes about Christian family living, marriage, parenting with a touch of humor.


  1. Such wisdom in here. Also, I think so many folks are not intentionally teaching these things anymore. So good!i pinned.

    • Teri, I agree. We have lost so many of our values as a society, and it is reflected in our youth. Their are still lots of families that want to do things right though.

  2. These are character qualities that even i, as an adult still need to make visible to others. I mean, I can’t teach my kids what i don’t already portray.

    • You are so wise. We have to display good character if we want to pass it down to the next generation. Thanks for sharing your comments.

  3. These are all great qualities to have- not only as a child, but for adults too.

  4. Yes! These are definitely great character qualities to have. As a mother and former teacher, I have found that a child who is “teachable” will accomplish much in life. If a child (or adult for that matter) is teachable, then those other qualities will be acquired in time.

    • Tina, you are so right. I am glad you agree on the 9 character qualities your child needs to be successful at school. I always love it when a teacher comments. Thanks!

  5. Thank you for this… I really needed this today. My 3rd child is having a hard time in school. I will be doing more of these suggestions. Great read.

    • Terra, I truly hope this will help you. It is amazing how character qualities are the tools to help a child learn. Thanks for your comment.

  6. Great post. As a former teacher, I agree that character of kids is really important in the classroom. The willingness to work hard seems to be lacking in kids today. One reason is that we parents have busy lives so we tend to everything for our kids. Parents need to work to grow good character in their kids.

    • Poovanesh, you are so right! I can’t believe how many parents do their child’s work. It doesn’t help the child. Thanks for your comment. I always love hearing from you.

  7. Great post. I pinned it for later reference as well. I think all of these points are so important and unfortunately are not always the norm. #3 especially spoke to me. I think that one goes to everyone because they are adults still not applying that.

    • Mary, I agree. Accepting personal responsibility is not easy. It means swallowing pride and accepting consequences for things not done. Thanks for your comment.

    • Madi, you are so right! I know adults who could use these tips. In fact, these 9 character qualities your child needs to be successful at school can help anyone!

  8. As a teacher and a mother, your post is right on point! I’ve been working with a student all year that has not been taught these character traits, and it’s been nearly impossible to help at school when home destroys everything we do. I pray this student does not follow the road I’m afraid he will.

    • Christy, I feel your frustration. I see this over and over again. Families don’t always reinforce good character so it is hard to move forward with an unteachable child. Thanks for your comment.

  9. Accepting personal responsibility is so important! A great quality that will carry them far in life.

  10. Reminds me of my son’s attitude towards one of the subjects! Apparently, I was also poor in the same subject so I’m rarely able to assist him with homework. I’m trying all I can, especially during holidays to change his attitude before he gets to teen-age. Attitude is the mother of all other vices. Hoping he catches up.

  11. I absolutely love and agree with your post! You post along the same lines as I do. Too many Christian parents and grandparents are leaving responsibility, prayer, and the rest up to their kids, because they are “too busy”, or too whatever. It hurts my heart to see this happening, that is why I started my blog in the first place! God bless you, as you continue your blog!

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