Character Traits for Kids
Posted: November 17, 2020
During a child's developmental years we all look for good and bad personality traits that can help define a child's character. Children usually display both good and not so good character traits within their personalities.
We can usually see the character of a child through their actions, especially their interactions with children around them. So if you want to learn the character traits of a child, try observing how they interact with others. Here are some tips for recognizing traits with kids.
Tips for Recognizing Character Traits in Children
You can learn and recognize the character traits for kids if you observe their interactions, specifically how they react with:
- the other children they play with
- children who are their friends
- children who are not their friends
- adults in their lives, such as teachers, aunts, uncles and their friend's parents
Positive Character Traits List:
Bad Character Traits List:
Character education is the instruction of moral and ethical values. This includes parents and teachers teaching children character traits that will help them become moral adults. Qualities such as kindness, respect, responsibility, and caring are the common traits taught in today's character education programs and curricula.
To learn more about personality traits, try reading about the big five traits.
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Posted: August 10, 2020
As parents, grandparents and caregivers, there are numerous quality traits that we want our children to have. In this article, we’ll talk about five important character traits that are essential for kids to have. These are great traits for children to learn during their character education learning.
Let's Start with Good Character Trait #5: Self-Control
Having self-control over one's mind and body is a great trait for children to have, because it keeps them from making hasty or impulsive decisions. Children and adults who have the ability to stop and think, instead of reacting emotionally or impulsively, in tough situations, exhibit good self-control.
An Example and Benefit of Self-Control in Children
A 10-year-old and a 5-year-old are playing, and the 5-year-old punches the 10-year-old. The first impulse of the older child may be to hit back. Instead, the 10-year-old stops and thinks, “Hey, this 5-year-old is much smaller than me and doesn't know that when he punches me, it hurts. So I’m not going to retaliate by hitting him back.” In this case, the older child has exhibited good self-control, because he thought about the consequences instead of responding on pure impulse. Practicing self control can prevent many bad situations like from occurring.
Ok, Let's Move on to Good Character Trait #4: Courage
When we talk about courage as a character trait in children, we're not talking about the courage to fight off three bullies. We're talking about actions that seem small to us as adults, but are big in children's lives. Courage for children comes in very different ways.
Why is Courage Important for Children?
Courageous children are able to carry out sometimes difficult actions, such as:
- speaking up for themselves or others when appropriate
- not always following the crowd, especially when the crowd is engaged in bad/dangerous activities
- walking away from a fight or argument before it starts
Having courage can arm children with the tools needed to make decisions that can greatly improve their lives. A seemingly little thing like having the courage to say no to a dangerous activity could potentially save another child’s life or their own.
An Example of Courage in Children
A child is hanging out in the neighborhood with a group of friends, and one of them says, “Hey, it would be cool to go play on the train tracks.” The other kids agree and proceed to go play on the tracks. Instead of following his/her friends, the child decides, “Playing on the train tracks is dangerous. Even if my friends are doing it, I'm not going to do it.” Children who are able to make similar decisions have courage, which can help keep them out of harm’s way for years to come.
Ok, Let's Move on to Good Character Trait #3: Kindness
Having kindness, and the ability to show it, is another great character trait that children should have. Kindness includes the quality of being friendly, considerate and generous to other people and the environment.
It’s important for children to learn and practice kindness, because children who are kind to others, and the world around them, are more likely to continue this behavior as adults.
An Example of Kindness in Children
When a child falls or gets hurt, and a classmate asks, “Are you alright?” and helps pick him up, that classmate is showing kindness. Children who have the ability to show kindness, grow up to be adults who are more likely to continue showing kindness to others..
Ok, Let's Move on to Good Character Trait #2: Respect
Respect, or having high regard for someone or something, is another great character trait for children to have. Respect is often earned from or demanded by others.
When children are able to have and show respect for others, they’re more likely to listen, follow directions and be disciplined.
An Example of Respect in Children
The home and classroom are ideal environments for children to practice respect for their parents and teachers. There may be many times when children do not want to do what their parents/teachers say, or do not agree with what their parents/teachers say. At these times, it is important for children to be respectful.
Having respect for a teacher/parent allows children to be obedient, even if they disagree with or do not understand what is being asked of them.
Ok, Let's Move on to Good Character Trait #1: Love
Love is hands down the most important character trait for children to have. While the formal definition of love is “an intense feeling of deep affection,” we know that definition cannot sum up what love is.
Love is intangible and cannot be taught, from a book like other school subjects, but children can learn what love is through positive experiences with parents, family and friends. Childhood experiences can greatly affect how children treat others and themselves as adults.
Children can learn and experience love when:
- They build positive memories with family and friends
- Witness positive interactions among family and friends
- See family members take care of their own mental, physical and spiritual health
Children often learn by imitation; therefore, children who are often surrounded by love are more likely to love others and themselves. Love helps children improve their ability to build healthy relationships as adults.
An Example of Love in Children
A group of children are playing together at the park. An unpopular kid (but the best friend of one of the children) attempts to join the fun. A couple of kids decide to make malicious jokes about the unpopular kid, but one kid (the best friend) decides not to join in on the jokes. He understands that joining in on the jokes, about his friend, is not the way to show his friend love.
Good Character Trait Summary
Let’s review the five quality character traits for children to have:
- Self Control
Situations where these traits are handy are prevalent in our children’s daily lives. Helping your child develop these quality character traits during their developmental years will prepare them to become respectful, caring and kind adults.
In the comments section below, feel free to share other character traits that you believe are ideal for children to have.
Posted: September 29, 2015
Enjoy this read aloud of "My Favorite Superhero, The Battle for Mr. Galaxy" an original story from our Sweet Sadie Mae Character Corner® platform.
"My Favorite Superhero, The Battle for Mr. Galaxy" takes place around Halloween, and opens up the conversation about sharing and compromising. It’s part of our SSM What Would You Do?™ Volumes. Similar stories are available on our Character Corner platform. Please tell us what you think. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.
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Posted: November 16, 2013
Courage is having the strength to overcome an obstacle even when afraid.
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Posted: November 16, 2013
Care and kindness is showing concern for others by being friendly, generous and considerate.
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Posted: November 16, 2013
Bravery is completing a difficult or frightening task without showing fear.
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Posted: June 06, 2013
The ability to feel, or show, pleasure and statisfaction.
Posted: June 06, 2013
The ability to remain calm when delays or problems occur.
Posted: June 06, 2013
Teachers feel free to use this kindness character trait graphic organizer to motivate students to show acts of kindness with the reward of displaying their name on the poster.
This character trait graphic organizer poster is designed to be printed at the smallest size of 11x17 inches and at the highest 19x27 inches.
Download the Kindness Character Trait Graphic Organizer for the Classroom
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Posted: May 25, 2013
We all know how important the instruction of character education is in raising our children to be moral and ethical adults.
Since children spend a large portion of their youth development in school, the bulk of their character education and reinforcement will come from teacher lesson plans.
Here are a few character education lesson plan ideas that teachers can use in their character education curriculum for elementary age children. Parents can also use these ideas as a base for the character education activities at home with their children.
Character Education Lesson Plan Idea 1: Have an Open Discussion about the Difference Between Bullying and Playful Teasing
Kids will be kids, and they will tease each other with friendly intentions, but all children don't take friendly teasing well. When children have the ability to know the difference between bullying and friendly teasing, it makes it easier for parents and teachers to take proper action in cases of bullying.
For this lesson core, have a discussion with children about the difference between bullying and playful teasing. Record discussion responses on a mind map and ask children if there are any questions they want answered about bully or playful teasing.
Character Education Lesson Plan Idea 2: Reinforce Respect for Teachers, Parents and Older Adults
Having respect for teachers, parents and caretakers is definitely an important part to a child's successful development. Without respect for these authority figures children miss out on the helpful advice that these adults give to them.
For the lesson core, focus on why it's important for children to have respect for authority figures.
Work through a scenario vs. chart, which shows two scenarios and two different outcomes:
- One where a child is in a situation where he listens to and respects an adult figure, which results in a positive outcome.
- One where the same child is faced with the same situation but disrespects the adult figure, which results in a negative outcome.
Character Education Lesson Plan Idea 3: Show Examples of Good and Bad Character Traits
Children should understand what good and bad character traits look like. When children recognize good and bad character traits they can identify the behavior that causes them, which will help shape their overall personality and character.
For the lesson core, show children examples of good and bad character traits. Integrate cartoon clips that have characters whose behaviors demonstrate good and bad character traits.
Here are some 80's - 90's Cartoon Shows with Characters that show Good and Bad Character Traits:
- The Jetsons
- Duck Tales
- Dark Wing Duck
Summary of Character Education Lesson Plan Ideas
- Have an Open Discussion about the Difference Between Bullying and Playful Teasing
- Reinforce Respect for Teachers, Parents and Older Adults
- Show Examples of Good and Bad Character Traits
I hope these character education ideas for elementary school children help you develop full lesson plans to help children develop character. Be sure to check out our online platform Character Corner, filled with stories, biographies, facts and activities to help build children's character. Also read our showing respect for teachers activity to learn more about teaching children to show respect.
If you have any character education lesson plan ideas that you want to share, please list them in the comments.
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Posted: December 02, 2012
What is Character Education?
Simply put character education is the instruction of moral and ethical values. Usually character education is taught to younger children, during the developmental years, to help them understand how they should treat others, and how to deal with the ethical and moral decisions they will encounter throughout their life.
Why is character education important for children?
Character education is important for children, because it helps them grow into morally responsible adults. Like any other learned subject such as math, science and social studies, children need to learn how to properly treat others and make decisions that are morally and ethically correct.
Having great character helps children be kinder, make better choices and develop integrity, self-discipline and responsibility. These are all qualities of a decent contributor to society, which is the goal of character education when taught to children.
Why Good Character is Important for Children to Have?
Good character is important for children because:
- It allows children to become positive contributors to their communities
- It makes children feel good about themselves
- It helps children love others
- It allows children to be role models of kindness, integrity, respect and responsibility
- It initiates the pay-it-forward concept
Let us know your thoughts about characer education. Feel free to leave them in the comments.