Being a parent is hard, and nothing you can read, watch or learn from others can truly help you prepare for the task. Just about everything you do will center around making sure your children are fed, safe and loved. And that’s just the easy part. What will really keep you up at night is wondering if you’re doing enough to ensure your precious baby boy or girl is going to grow up to be a good person. Which lectures do you give them? What traits do you try to instill in their young minds? Have you done enough to model what being a good person is and does?
Your personal values will help you determine what’s going to make a child into a fantastic adult but here are a few personality traits that are widely known for being admired:
#1 Compassion & Kindness
Above all, be kind. If you can teach your child nothing else, teach them about compassion and being kind to others. Make sure they know it’s OK to sit with the lonely kid at lunch, it’s alright to befriend the student with disabilities, and that the hardest people to stand up to when faced with unkind acts is often your own friends.
Honesty isn’t always easy, but it’s important. People who are honest live without guilt and are therefor generally happier individuals. Being honest makes you look dependable and trustworthy. It’s an especially important trait if you want your child to become a leader.
Negative thoughts poison our minds and make us feel miserable. Negative self-talk seems to have a self-fulfilling prophecy, where bad things happen to people who always think negative thoughts. Thinking positively, on the other hand, can lead to happiness and success. Optimistic people tend to sleep better at night, have fewer cases of depression and anxiety and are more successful.
#4 Grit & Determination
Grit isn’t something that’s often taught during character development units in school. It’s an older personality trait that defines what it means to have to “pull yourself up by the bootstraps” and get to work, building the life you want because no one will hand it to you. An example of this would be not letting your child give up on a dream just because it’s hard.
#5 Impulse Control
We live in an era where everyone expects to get exactly what they want and everything happens “in the moment.” The internet has given us the anonymity to say what we want without repercussions but that doesn’t translate to real-life where you much carefully consider your words and actions.
Having true respect for others will stop a lot of undesirable behavior in its tracts. You wouldn’t lie to or hurt someone you have respect for, so teach your children the importance of having respect for others. Respect isn’t reserved only for parents and authority figures either, respect is for everyone.
#7 Curiosity & Wonder
Go on adventures with your child, keep them actively engaged in learning with fun activities. Help to encourage their sense of wonder at the world around them. Being creative will help them intellectually as well as emotionally throughout their lives.
#8 Patience & Adaptability
Things don’t always go your way, and they often take longer than we feel comfortable with, and that’s OK. Patience is one of the hardest skills for young children to learn and teaching it can really test your own patience as a parent. Learning adaptability will help them be more positive and open-minded when they are adults.
While we’re being kind and respecting others, sometimes we may be faced with a situation where we have to make a choice. If others are being unkind, is it our place to stand up for them? What if there are repercussions for helping out? This is up to each individual family to teach but know this, courage is a positive trait. Courage allows us to stand up for ourselves and others, it helps us go for our dreams, and bolsters our sense of pride.
People that practice gratitude are happier and healthier according to many studies done on the subject. Gratitude helps us realize what we have, instead of dwelling on negative thoughts centered on things that didn’t go our way. You can help teach gratitude by writing in a family gratitude journal each day with your child.
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