Self control-Audra's pick
This one Fruit of the Spirit can apply to so many of life’s circumstances. Whether deciding to eat “too much” candy or not, or whether or not to hit your sister, this character trait is useful. It doesn’t come easy in any situation. Not for mom, dad, or child. But, the more you apply it, the better you will be at learning to exhibit other traits as well.
Self -Discipline & Patience - Laura's pick
It's quite funny that these are the two characteristic traits that we focus on with our two children, because these are the hardest for me, their mom!
Macy - Self Discipline: She is ten years old and strives to do her best at whatever she tries. Many things have come rather easy for her and because of that, she thinks she should be able to pick up anything new and be the best. She gets completely frustrated when it doesn't happen. We are having to teach her that she has to create self-discipline in all areas of life, but when she really wants to excel in something, she must do the things required to get to that point.
Jude - Patience: He will be four in August, so I realize that not having patience comes with his age too, but there are ways he can be learning even now! We are teaching him that it's not all about him! He tends to turn on his whiny voice and a few tears when he doesn't get his way. Well, when that happens, he is learning that he really won't get what he wants. He has to ask us without tears or whining. Sometimes we will send him to his room until he can come back and ask us in the right way. He will walk into his room and immediately walk right back out and say, "I'm happy now!" and proceed to tell us what he needs! LOL
Kindness - Rebecca's pick
When we considered all the character traits that my husband and I want to consciously grow and develop in our children, there were many that jumped off the page. To narrow our focus, we zoomed in on each child and highlighted the traits that we want to continuously affirm and also the ones we need to focus more diligently on. Each child’s list is completely different! But, one trait that we unanimously agree is a priority in our home is KINDNESS.
Kindness in word and action is highlighted each and every day. We recognize words and acts of kindness with a high-five, a “Well Done,” a hug, or another affirmative gesture. In times where kindness is not shown, we push pause on life and discuss the deeper heart issue that the unkind behavior is revealing.
Faithfulness - Tammy's pick
As the years pass, the character traits we have cultivated in our kiddos have ebbed and flowed, but the one that stands out to me is faithfulness. Why? Because God has been so faithful to me. It stuns me how He hasn't dropped me or turned His back on me because of Jesus's shed blood on the cross. Therefore, despite my wandering heart, I strive to be faithful.
We also encourage this in our children. We have such mottos as: If you start something, finish it. If you said you'd do something, do it. If the going gets hard, press in. Be reliable. Be dependable. Be faithful to God, to yourself, to your tasks, and to others. In an unfaithful world, be faithful.
Christ-likeness- Pastor Kevin Carson
Trait: the desire to be God's kind of boy or girl. The goal is to teach our children their purpose in life is to be like Jesus, which is God's kind of boy or girl. We look for object lessons to use to emphasize both purpose and honoring God.
Two examples: we use a carpenter's pencil to emphasize its creator making the pencil with a specific purpose which is similar to God, and we regularly point their attention to sunsets & sunrises which declare the glory of God. If you look for them, there are many opportunities to help your children embrace God's purpose for life.