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positive character traits for kids

9 Positive Character Traits For Kids to Succeed at School

There are nine positive character traits for kids to 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 with bad character traits 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 nine positive character traits for kids to be successful at school. These traits will help them to not only be smart but wise. Heads up! You need to start teaching them now. 

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What are Positive Character Traits?

Positive character traits are behaviors that make us want to be around another person. When someone is kind, loving, helpful, and generous, we can’t help but enjoy their company. Likewise, when a child’s character and personality are unbecoming, we want to run away.

Sadly, we are not born with positive character traits. In fact, we are genuinely selfish. Good behavior is molded, praised, and formed over time with lots of prayer and hard work by the parents. Even then, there are still blips. Some kids are bent on behaving a certain way despite their best efforts.

Here is a list of positive character traits for students to have in the classroom. These characteristics of a school-age child are simply goals. He won’t have them all down when he enters school, but you can continue to work on them as he grows up.

9 Positive Character Traits For Kids to Succeed at School

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. 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 all the time. Just keep working with your kids. 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 kid’s personality to be much better. Stinky attitudes are learned.

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

2. Grit

Teach your child how to work hard and not give up. 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. More importantly, they don’t give up when it gets hard. They know how to weather the hard times. This is one of the most positive character traits for kids to be successful at school.

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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 negative character traits affect others will continue to have bad behavior. Teach empathy! This is one of the best positive character traits for kids to be successful at school. Your child is not God, so don’t let him act like it at home.

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 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 lifelong 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.

RELATED: 50 Easy School Readiness Skills Parents Can Do With Kids [Printable Checklist]

5. Forgiveness

Forgiveness is an incredibly positive character trait for kids to have.  If your child is constantly angry, find out why.

Help him to work through his feelings and show him how to release them 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. These are great positive character traits for kids to be successful at school.

RELATED: 5 Burning Reasons Why You Need to Forgive Those Who Hurt You

6. Faith in God

Teach your child about God. If you do not give her a moral compass, then she will make herself be a 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 positive character traits for kids to be successful at school because it will guide your child for life.

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

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7. Love

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 positive character traits for kids to be successful at school. It will take him far.

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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, the dean of students, the 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.

That is why it is so important to teach these character traits now. It will help them long past the school years and give them wisdom in life.

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Positive Character Traits For Kids

What Are Your Child’s Best Qualities?

Every child has a special gift. It is up to you to draw it out of him or her with encouragement, love, and support. Your child is your legacy. He or she reflects you and your family. This is not to make you panic and demand perfection. It is to help you be 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 nine positive character traits for kids 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 Foundation

What do you think are the most positive character traits for kids to have? 

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23 thoughts on “9 Positive Character Traits For Kids to Succeed at School”

    1. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

    1. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

    1. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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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