We all want children that emulate the virtues that are important to us, but this is something that doesn't happen naturally on its own. It takes purpose in your parenting and staying consistent in your efforts. It is hard word, especially if you get sidetrack from time to time, as we all do, but so worth every effort to raise children with virtues.
5 Tips to Raise Children with Virtues
I'm still working on my own virtues from time to time, but I know that having a plan of action is important to reaching our goal to raise children with virtues. Having two adult children already and knowing what things we did that worked well, I would love to share with you these tips that we are doing with our younger children, and what new things we are doing that are good things.
- Focus On Habits – Habits, both good and bad, are started at a very young age. It is dangerous to think a child will grow out of lying, being mean or being lazy. It is true to human nature that the more we do something the harder it is for us to undo that habit. If a child is showing undesirable habits at a young age and they are not corrected, these will continue and grow into their adulthood. It is so important to understand the need for focusing on habits when your children are younger, to help them grow into good habits that only become stronger with time.
- Identify Where Your Children Struggle – As parents, we know where are children struggle most. In our home, we have had to deal with lying, cheating, stealing, selfishness, being unkind and dishonor. Thank God, not all at once and not all in the same child, but these things poked their head early in our children's lives and being able to identify them early, gave us the ability to focus on these habits and work diligent to teach the opposite of what they were struggling with daily.
- Use Scripture to Train Your Children – We love using scripture to train our children. There is no better way to teach virtue than through the verses that are all through the Bible to help us in our daily walk. Teaching children scripture at a young age will make it easier in your parenting and easier for them to learn and emulate the virtue you desire them to have evident in their lives.
- Praise Them for all Improvements – If you know that your child struggles with lying and you see them speaking the truth, especially in difficult situations that lying would be easiest, you own it to that child to praise them for making the virtuous choice. The more we praise our children the more they grow. They desire our praise and acceptance, so giving it to them freely in your efforts to raise virtuous children will only improve your child's ability to grow in them.
- Demonstrate the Virtues in Ever Way Possible – If we want our children to be truthful, we need to be truthful in our own example. We have found that even as powerful as that life lesson can be in our efforts to raise children with virtues, we improve the lessons in what it means and look like by purposefully demonstrating these virtues through stories, illustrations and anything that we can share with them that prove to be good things.