9 Best Character Qualities Your Child Needs at School
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There are 9 character qualities that will help your child be successful at school. Unfortunately, many kids are only known for just being a “character.” Sadly, there is a big difference between the two.
As a teacher and mom, I have run across a few “characters.” Let me tell you, they are no fun to teach or be around as they ruin everyone else’s time together. In fact, they leave a stink behind them when they exit the room. And I’m not talking about smelly tennis shoes…
These kids do not like to listen, they are proud, act lazy, lie, and are sometimes defiant. On the other hand, a child who is respectful, kind, and obedient leaves a sort of sweet aroma.
These kinds of kids are a joy to be around all the time.
In this post, I am going to give you the 9 most important character qualities your child needs to be successful at school. Heads up! You need to start teaching them now.
9 Best Character Qualities Your Child Needs at School
1. Good Attitude
Your child needs to have a good attitude about everything. This is one of the most important character qualities to have. I’m not saying he can’t express his feelings, but it needs to be treated as a privilege. Otherwise, your child will try to talk you out of whatever you want him to do. Not good.
As he ages, he can be allowed to express his disappointment respectfully and ask for reconsideration. But in the end, he needs to accept your decision without any attitude.
If you have a teen, you are probably laughing right now. I know this is a tall order.
A consistently good attitude may not happen until your child is older. Even then…well, you know. Just keep giving consequences when he acts out. And praise when he gets it right. Eventually, he will learn.
And by the way, how is your attitude? If yours is bad, don’t expect your child’s attitude to be much better. Stinky attitudes are hereditary.
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2. Hard Work
Teach your child how to work hard. Give her chores to do every day or almost every day. Nothing oppressive, but enough to understand she needs to contribute to the family. This can start as early as preschool.
Teach her how to clean up after herself when she leaves the room. In later years, you can have your child clean the bathroom, do laundry, mow the lawn, or help with dishes.
Your child will need to transfer this work ethic to the classroom. Good students work hard to achieve their goals. This is one of the most important character traits to have.
3. Accept Personal Responsibility
When your child does something wrong, teach him to make amends immediately. Not only apologize for what was said or done but make reparations, if necessary. Remember that broken window? Have him work it off or help fix it!
If you let him get away with things at home, he will expect to do the same thing at school. He will be in for a rude awakening when his teacher won’t let him have recess or some other consequence because he can’t admit he was wrong, apologize, and make amends.
This is how bullying starts. Kids who do not understand how their behavior affects others will hurt others. Teach empathy! This is one of the most important character qualities to have. Your child is not God, so don’t let him act like it at home.
Being teachable is one of the most important character qualities to have. It is the gateway to all learning. If your child will not receive instruction, then he will not learn. This is miserable for a teacher.
You may be wondering how to help your child be more teachable before he goes to school. Put him in situations that will exercise this muscle. Work on math skills, reading, letters, sitting quietly, counting, obedience, etc.
And make sure to constantly praise for good behavior.
Don’t avoid conflict. Embrace each power struggle as an opportunity for your child to develop life long skills that he needs to be successful. Just know you are going to need lots of patience.
It will pay off when he is in the classroom. He will receive instructions without any problem and get his work done quickly.
Forgiveness is an incredibly important character trait to have. If your child is constantly angry, find out why.
Help him to work through his feelings and show him how to release it to God. Perhaps someone is truly violating your child’s boundaries. Once you know, you can help him work through the situation appropriately.
Whatever the reason, don’t let it go. Nip it in the bud.
When kids don’t forgive, grudges manifest over time. It can last for years and play out in horrible ways at school, on the field, or in another location. Kids die over grudges.
6. Faith in God
Teach your child about God. If you do not give her a moral compass, then she will make herself to be god in the future. It may not be that big of a deal when she is three, but a tween or teenager who thinks she is god is a disaster.
I have seen this many times as a teacher. Same scenario, different child. Same outcome.
Start when she is young. Take her to church, read the Bible to her, pray together, and talk about your own faith.
If you don’t have faith, then you will not be able to pass down your faith to the next generation. Instead, it will be something like, “Whatever you feel is right.” Feelings change by the hour, whereas God’s word is always the same.
Your child needs more than feelings to get through school. She needs a Savior. This is one of the most important character qualities to have because it will guide your child for life.
Teach your child to love well. Help him to be kind and loving in all of his actions. Don’t let him get away with being rude, hitting, spitting, or kicking others or things. Give consequences when this happens.
Love him unconditionally, and he will learn what love looks like from you. If you are constantly yelling, threatening, or scaring your child, he will not know how to love others well.
Your child will need a spirit of love to overcome some of the hard things he will experience at school. Kids are mean. He will need God’s love to see the truth and not retaliate when in pain.
Let love be one of the most important character qualities to have. It will take him far.
8. Tell the Truth
Teach your child to tell the truth. This is such an important character trait your child needs to learn.
Kids lie. That is a fact. Your job is to deal with the behavior early.
Many parents think it is cute and funny, but it is not. If you don’t catch it, then it will turn into a habit. A very bad habit.
Liars eventually get caught. And many times, the consequences are bad. Teach your child to tell the truth no matter how small it is. His life will be so much easier if he learns this before he goes to school.
9. Respect Authority
Teach your child to respect authority. This is one of the most important character qualities to have at school.
It starts with your authority.
Require your child to obey what you say. If she ignores you, it will transfer to others such as teachers, the principal, dean of students, employer, and the law.
If you ask your child to do something, be prepared for non-compliance.
Have a plan in place so that when it happens you don’t make idle threats. Follow through with the consequences and praise for obedience.
Respect includes not only you but property, others, and even herself. Again, it is important you model the same behavior. If you don’t respect others, the law, or yourself then how can your child?
This one problem seems to get more kids in trouble.
Our schools would be totally different if kids respected authority.
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Character Traits Reflect Your Family
Your child is your legacy. He reflects you and your family. This is not to make you panic and demand perfection. It is to make you aware of your responsibility to do things right.
What you do or don’t do makes a difference in the life of your child. I understand it requires an enormous amount of patience and time, but it is worth it.
You can do this!
Work on these 9 character qualities before school starts and keep working on them as your child ages. One day you may be pleasantly surprised your child is a joy to you and others.
Even sweet-smelling. But the tennis shoes…that may be a hopeless cause.
“It’s clear that teaching character and essential skills in schools has the potential to have a real impact on outcomes for pupils, particularly those from disadvantaged homes.” – Kevan Collins, chief executive Educational Endowment FoundationRELATED: Parenting Tips: When Your Baby Leaves Home For Good
What character traits do you think are important to teach your child?
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