Teaching our children biblical character is an important part of our parenting work. It starts in preschool stages, with the basics like kindness, truthfulness, and gentleness. Those same lessons are reinforced as kids grow and new character traits are taught, such as diligence, stewardship, and more. How does a parent go about actually doing character training?
When we intentionally teach character, we are coming alongside our children to model and instruct them in imitating Christ. It helps them to see the goodness of of a life lived rightly, both in their relationships and whatever efforts they pursue.
Of course, it also shows them their need for a salvation and the work of the Holy Spirit, because ultimately we all fall short on our own strength. It is a lifelong endeavor, and we help our children by doing character training for pre-k to high school.
Teaching Character Training for All Ages
Here are some ways you can do character training no matter how old your child is.
As you read through the Bible with your family, comment on the various positive and negative character traits of the main players in the stories. How do they honor or dishonor God? You could also make a list of the main stories in the Bible and go through each of the primary characters to study them.
Consider the godly character traits of Jesus and discuss how we can become more like Him. Talk about the other people in the Bible and point out their good and bad traits. How could we make better choices in some of those situations?
One of our Bible Brick Challenges that is perfect for character training in this way is the Heroes of the Bible Brick Challenge & Character Study! This 95-page printable combines the creativity of build challenges with a study of over 20 characters in the Bible! Build examples and scripture memory cards help aid learning (ESV and KJV available).
History is rich with people that display wonderful godly character, so it’s a great opportunity for character training. Whatever time period your child happens to be studying in their school, spend a little time discussing historical figures in that period and how they do or don’t demonstrate godly character traits. Did they display persistence? Initiative? Courage? You can usually find biographies that are age-appropriate, or do a search online to find out more about them.
In that same vein, read missionary biographies together and discuss the challenges and obstacles those great men and women of the faith overcame by God’s grace. Learn from their mistakes, victories, and dedication to serving in the name of the Lord!
When you come across a good character training in an article online or in the newspaper, or even while watching the news, make a note to talk to your child about it. If they are old enough and mature enough to read/watch themselves, let them! (We love World Watch streaming for kids.)
You can also simply summarize the story and talk about what you both notice about the godly or ungodly character traits in the story. Did they put others’ needs above their own? Were they honest? Was there pride involved? What consequences were evident from their actions?
Whether you’re reading aloud picture books or your teens are digging into a favorite series or classic literature, you are sure to find a wealth of examples for discussing character.
Pause in your reading (or audiobook) and ask them what godly character traits are being practiced. Ask older children what the main characters are in their reading and talk about whether they honor God with their actions and words or not. How is that a reflection of their character?
A Favorite Character Training Resource
One of our favorite character training resources is Character Concepts. We have been using their books and resources for several years and love them.
Character Concepts resources are great for family discipleship and/or homeschooling. The kids adore the stories in the books and the Uncle Rick audio membership. My husband and I appreciate how easy it is to teach and the solid foundation on Scripture.
A particularly wonderful thing about Character Concepts is that it provides character training for pre-k to high school! I just love that this set of resources will carry us into the upper grade levels. That’s not easy to find! Here’s what they have:
- Level 1: Character Concepts for Preschoolers (ages 4-6)
- Level 2: Character Trails (ages 6-9)
- Level 3: Kids of Character (ages 7-10)
- Level 4: Proverbs People (ages 7-12)
- Level 5: Growing in Wisdom (ages 8-13)
- Level 6: Living the Fruitful Life (ages 11-15)
- Level 7: Words of Wisdom (ages 14-17)
- Level 8: Power in Proverbs (high school)
We also really enjoy the Uncle Rick Audio Club Membership! So many wonderful Bible stories, history stories, and fictional stories all with commentary that points to the character traits and whether they are godly or not. They are perfect for quiet time or car rides, and their casual and conversational style really appeal to my kids.
So go check out Character Concepts and give them a try! They’ve been a blessing our home. ❤️