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21 Positive Character Traits For Kids That Help Them Become Well Rounded Individuals

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As parents, we pride ourselves on our kids. One thing I have noticed as a parent is that I can often hear my own mom or dad talking. It is times like these when we sit back and realize the way we behave, act even talk in front of our children really does shape the adults they will become.

Picture this:

It is pick-up time at your kid’s school. You acknowledge the teacher as they call your child’s name. They then ask you to step aside as they need to have a ‘chat.’ 

Immediately your heart sinks, other parents look at you with both pity and relief that it is not them that has to wait to see what unruly behavior their child has done through the day. 

You stand there nervous waiting to see what has gone on during the day. Why is it that we always think the worse of our children?

During this article, we will dive into the traits that we deem as acceptable and desirable. The traits we all want our children to have to ensure they will become well-rounded adults in the future. 

Traits We Deem As Positive

There are many personalities we come across in life. Some positive and some not so great! Let’s look at what qualities can make well-rounded good people of our children. 

  1. Honesty
  2. Kindness
  3. Resilience
  4. Determination
  5. Satisfaction
  6. Humble
  7. Courage
  8. Empathy
  9. Creativity 
  10. Compassion
  11. Patience
  12. Dependability
  13. Respect
  14. Resourcefulness
  15. Curiosity
  16. Self-discipline
  17. Positivity and Optimism
  18. Adaptability
  19. Happy and Satisfied
  20. Independent
  21. Loyal
  22. Polite

How Do We Promote These Traits In Our Children

This is a very extensive list and as you read it I can almost guarantee that you used it as a tick list against your own personality.

The important thing to remember is that if your child demonstrates even half of the traits above then they are on a pretty great path to becoming well-rounded adults. 

Our children have teachers for their entire lives. From Kindergarten to high school then college but a child’s first teacher is you.

You as their parent. You taught them so many social skills that by the time they went to kindergarten they already knew how to sit, walk, listen, eat and the list goes on.

As parents, we don’t give ourselves enough credit for this! 

Getting back to making sure our kids are well rounded … just like anything in our child’s life they learn from us. If we demonstrate the desirable traits we want them to have then they too will follow in our footsteps and learn valuable skills. 

In a nutshell, it is no good for us to tell them how to behave or how to act unless we are going to show them those traits in action – this makes a huge difference. 

What Does Each Trait Mean?

Honesty

The phrase honesty is the best policy isn’t by any means untrue. We all explain to our children that telling the truth is important but have you ever wondered why?

I think the main reason is that a person that is being untruthful can seem greedy, untrustworthy, and deceitful. No one wants their child to be deemed a liar. 

As parents, we can obviously show examples of honesty toward our children and toward others in our lives. But what do we do when our children display acts of dishonesty?

It is easy for us to scold our children with punishments for being dishonest and this can become all too familiar in daily life, but being honest isn’t learned from the fear of consequence.

The next time your child is honest about something make sure you shout it from the rooftop. Praise them,  make them feel as if being honest makes them feel amazing as well as others around them. 

Kindness

This trait is important to me! I am always told that my four-year-old is “such a kind boy.” I cannot tell you how proud it makes me feel when I hear this.

Kindness is something everyone wants to experience and it seems to humble the person displaying it.

At first, we try to encourage our children to share, take turns and as they grow older they realize that doing this for others is a great way of making someone happy. 

You can show your child examples of kindness through your own behavior. Your actions and words can promote kind acts and thus show great examples to your children.

Resilience

Being resilient is powerful. We are there to protect and shield our children from the dangers of the real world and it is important that we display forms of resilience.

This helps to prepare them for any knockbacks they may experience in their life. When you live in the world as an adult you come across so many negative feelings that it could knock you off guard and you may find yourself feeling not worthy or disheartened. 

Teaching resilience shows them how to get back up when they are knocked down. It gives them the never-give-up attitude. This attribute is also one that can help them deal with things such as peer pressure.

Including your child in some problem-solving activities can engage their brains in understanding there is always a solution to any problem. 

Determination

Being determined to work towards our goals is something we have to learn and practice. In life, a person’s determination can go a long way whether it is for a job or to prove to others that we are worthy of their time. It can boost confidence and be an attractive personality trait. 

Say your child wants to join the soccer team. At the moment they haven’t really got the skills to be picked. But helping them practice and putting in the hard work gives them the drive and determination to get where they want to be.

Satisfaction

This trait is probably the hardest to master! No matter where you come from or who you are, the simple art of satisfaction can make you the happiest person around.

Initially, we may assume that the things we have in life make us happy. It could be material items or the people in our lives. It all contributes to our satisfaction with what we have! 

Learning this quality can be a thin line between being satisfied and being ambitious. It is important to encourage ambition in our children but also to be satisfied with what they achieve as well.  

Humble

This quality is beautiful in its own right. We want our children to be successful, hard-working, and satisfied with everything they have but what happens if they achieve everything in their dreams and don’t display humility?

They can come across as arrogant and end up looking down on others that haven’t been as successful as them or they can turn into the people that brag about every achievement. 

Being humble is a way of staying grounded. Having wonderful qualities is great but remembering how to cheer others on during their achievements is better.

Try and demonstrate this trait by using a role-play method with your child. Model genuine humble behavior. 

Courage

Being courageous is similar to being brave. We have to face our fears in life to truly know what we can achieve. We all become nervous at varying episodes of our lives but it is how we deal with that fear that will shape our future.

Encouraging your child to push out of their comfort zone can help them gain the courage and independence they need in later life.

Whether it is a dance recital, a team sport, or public speaking, it is paramount that we embrace the nerves and show them that they have the strength to overcome any fear. 

Empathy

This quality doesn’t come easy to children or many adults for that fact. Empathy is having the desire to contribute to a wider community and putting the needs of others before their own. 

We continuously boost our children whether it is at a team sport or a stage performance we always cheer them on. This is ingrained in us as parents from the day they were born. We support them and their achievements and goals no matter what right? 

Well as they grow up this could impact them in a negative way, they can become self-obsessed and see themselves as more important than others. It is healthy to promote empathy in a child’s life as they will see the benefit of putting others’ needs before their own. 

If you try helping out in your local thrift store or donating their old belongings to others it can help promote this quality.

Creativity

There is more to do with being creative than being an artist. In many ways, creativity ignites the imagination. It promotes critical thinking and communication skills essential for later life. 

Ways you can encourage creativity in your child’s life are through extracurricular clubs, sports, dance, or science clubs – the list is endless. You can also encourage creative thinking at home.

Using a section of the day where you are not on screens or using technology. Telling stories or baking together can encourage the creative process. 

Compassionate

Having compassion for family and friends can be a given when raising children within a family unit. Being compassionate to strangers and others outside your social circle takes some practice. 

Encouraging your child to think about others’ feelings whether they know them or not is a good way to encourage this quality. It is an attribute that can sometimes go against the grain in society.

Many people are seen to just jump on the bandwagon when it comes to social media and joins the crowd when liking or sharing trending posts. Enforcing how do they feel? question encourages older children to think whether they want to join the crowd or stand out and show compassion for others.

Dependability

Having an attribute like dependability can go hand in hand with being hard working. This quality can set your child up for working adult life. If a manager or boss can depend on their workers then the only way for them would be up surely?

Becoming dependable means that your child will be deemed reliable and trustworthy. Essentially they will get the job done!

Respectful

As in every time in life, we are shown that to have respect is a powerful quality. It depicts the way others may see us and treat us. 

Showing your child respect can come from an early age just by giving them privacy and the opportunities for them to realize you trust them will enable them to copy your actions and respect you in return.

This can also be demonstrated by sticking to house rules that you may have in place.

Resourceful

Being resourceful has never been easier in our modern world. If we see there is a problem that needs a solution then we can simply research online and figure out how to overcome such problems. 

Teaching children how to be resourceful will help them become dependable and independent when faced with tasks that aren’t easy to solve.

One way my parents taught me, was to visit the library. Yes, pick up a book and research the good old-fashioned way. It was by doing this I found my love of reading!

Now you can still visit the library with your child as a fun free thing to do, but if they are faced with any homework issues, you can help show them how to research online.

This will help teach them about online safety at the same time. Allowing your children to come up with solutions to their problems rather than just jumping to the rescue will promote this attribute entirely. 

Curiosity

We are all born with a sense of curiosity and wonder. As babies, we are taught when and where to put our natural sense of curiosity to practice. Maybe not touching the pretty fire, or not jumping off the mountain of cushions you have made. We are all curious in our own ways. 

As we grow up we tend to lose these curiosities. We become more realistic and less excited with the awe and wonder of the unexpected. As parents we must fight to keep the curiosity alive in our children as life without wonder can become boring and rather dull. 

Self Discipline

This personality trait is one I feel many parents encourage well. Growing up, children are pulled in all sorts of directions. Our only hope of them not going down the wrong path is if they have self-discipline. 

Self Discipline can encourage your child into thinking they are their own person. It can give them an identity that may be stronger than the excitement of trying out drugs, alcohol, or getting into fights.

I strongly believe that if you have a child with a strong sense of who they are they can reject the negative and embrace the positives in life. 

Positivity and Optimism

As a natural pessimist, I find I want my sons to be more positive than me growing up. I find that my lack of positivity has held me back from certain life experiences and led me to be too cautious at times.

Being positive can make you a person for whom obstacles become hills rather than mountains. People enjoy being around someone who is always looking to the brighter side of life. 

With a positive outlook, it is easier to combat life’s challenges. 

Adaptability

Being adaptable can show itself in many forms. We may find that we act differently around our close friends than our work colleagues. We may be faced with having to work and learn from a different location.

Being adaptable means you can be the best version of yourself in any situation. 

Teaching children different behaviors that are acceptable in different situations can promote this attribute. They will take on board that running around as blanket monsters in the house is fine but not appropriate when you are out for a meal. 

Happy and Satisfied

This is a pretty straightforward trait we wish our children to have. We all want the best latest gadgets, the newest car, a beautiful house. These things are material and can never replace happiness or satisfaction. 

Have you ever come across a person who from the outside has everything, money, cars, house? I have many times, and whilst I was happy for them having all these nice things it became apparent fairly quickly that the one thing their money couldn’t buy was happiness. 

I feel that with all their stuff it was making their lives easier but they found it difficult to truly be happy and they always strived to have bigger and better things. Hence never being satisfied with their lives. 

Now don’t get me wrong I wish for my children to be successful and always have ambition but I wouldn’t want that to be at the cost of their happiness.  Teaching your children that it is ok if you haven’t got the best cell out there but appreciate that you have a cell at all. 

Independent

We all like to think we are well-rounded and independent when we need to be. This should be no different for our children. As parents, we are sometimes too quick to help our children if we see them struggling.

From putting on socks to earning their first paycheck the way we promote this quality will help our children become successful adults.

The day has come … your son/ daughter is leaving for college. You as their parent will always ask yourself. “Have I done enough? Do they know how to do their laundry? What happens if they run out of cash?” 

These questions are usually put to rest by our now-grown child reassuring us that they will be fine.

Children are born and raised as our dependents but as they grow, letting them combat little tasks like letting your four-year-old put on their socks or your teen to do the laundry will help them achieve the skill of independence.

Loyal

Being a loyal person is giving firm and constant support to others around you. Having this attribute is very forthcoming when making friends, meeting colleagues, and entering new experiences.  We all strive to be good friends and help at times of crisis and as we grow we learn who we can truly depend on.

Having a loyal person in our lives means we will always have someone who is watching out for us, someone who has our back. 

Displaying this behavior in relationships will encourage our children to follow in our footsteps. 

Polite

From a few months old we are encouraged to be polite. We are expected to show appreciation for things that other people do and give us. From thanking mom for a toy to saying please in grandma’s being polite is a good skill to have in life. 

Having manners and being polite to others can help ease social situations making both parties relax and become more open to communication. It can give a positive first impression and reflect the person in a positive light. 

The Final Thought

So we have looked into an extensive list of desirable traits we would like our children to have to help them become well-rounded adults. It is very important to understand that each child will have his/her own strengths and many qualities we didn’t even think of mentioning above. 

The main thing is that you as their parent are looking into their future now. You are the one who wants to give them the best start in life. Encouraging them to be the best they can be is the best skill they will ever learn from you.

The sheer fact that you have taken the time to look through this article proves that you are already doing half of the things to promote and encourage a well-rounded grown adult. 

Hi, I'm Emma and I'm a mother to 5 beautiful children aged from 1 to 21 years old- life is hectic! I have learned so much along the way, not only from my own children but also through my professional life. In my positions as a Childminder and Teaching Assistant, I have studied Child Development and The Early Years Developing Practice. I wish to share all of this knowledge and help you with your own parenting journey!