We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world
This saying is as true for grownups as it is true for kids. We are what we think. If you want to know who your kids are, ask them what they think of themselves. Whether they think they are smart or not, happy or not, friendly or not, they are always right.
If you want to build their character, you need to instill character-building thoughts in their minds. Their thoughts become words, their words become thoughts, and their thoughts become actions. These actions become habits that become their character. Their character determines their destiny.
As I said in Helping Kids Build healthy and Powerful Character Traits, a belief is like a seed, if you repeat the belief over and over again, it is like watering the seed. When the child hears the belief expressed enough times, the seed develops strong roots and becomes a conviction, like, “I am a very responsible kid”. The child stops thinking of it as a behavior and it becomes a character trait, a personal quality that they possess, “I am a very responsible kid”.
Watch your actions, for they become habit.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny
Here are examples of thoughts that will help build your kids’ character. If he/she adopts these thoughts/beliefs, they will turn into character of time. It is important to talk to kids about their character, what it means to them and what it means to you. Give them examples of times when they have shown a particular trait in a nice way and how it helped them in life. If you cannot find examples from their life, give examples from your own life, when you showed this trait and how it helped you in life. This will make it is easier for them to adopt the trait.
Remember not to use negative traits as motivators. Don’t even give examples from yourself for those negative traits. It is far easier to adopt positive traits than to avoid having negative ones (read the posts about pink elephants to understand why we need to focus on what we want, rather than on what we don’t want).
Positive thoughts/beliefs to help your child develop healthy and powerful character traits (A to G)
- Active – “I love to be outside and love being active. It is healthy to be active” “being active makes me happy”, “being active makes my body function better”.
- Affectionate -“I show my love and caring to my parents, siblings and close friends”, “showing affection is a sign of strength and confidence”.
- Ambitious – “I want to achieve things and if I keep working at it I will achieve it”.
- Adventurous – “I enjoy trying new things, exploring new places and meeting new people”, “I taste new foods that are introduced to me”.
- Assertive – “I express myself. I share my thoughts and feelings without demanding, insulting or minimizing others’ thoughts and feelings”.
- Appreciative -“I am very grateful for what I have. I am fortunate because not all kids in the world have what I have and I thank my family, my friends and my teachers for being there for me when I need them”.
- Brave/Courageous – “Sometimes I need to do things that are a bit scary and I am not sure I can do them. I take a deep breath, I conquer my fear and do them anyway!”
- Creative – “I am creative when I come up with new ideas, when I write a poem, play music, dance, imagine things, draw, write a story, paint”.
- Considerate – “When I do things and want things, I consider those around me. I think of their thoughts and feelings. I care about all living things and our planet. I recycle and do not litter”.
- Compassionate – “I care about people who are less fortunate than me and I feel their misery and sorrow”.
- Confident – “I trust myself to make the right choices. I have good thoughts about myself and I believe I will succeed. When I present my thoughts and ideas, I believe in what I present”.
- Cooperative – “I like being with other kids and when we are doing something together. I think about the benefit of the whole group, not only my own”.
- Careful – “I think before I do things. I consider the options before I act”.
- Cheerful – “I am happy. I have happy thoughts and I am fun to be with”.
- Curious – “The world is fascinating and I want to learn as much as I can about it. I try to learn something new every day. I keep my mind open to new things”.
- Charismatic – “People like me. They like my ideas and find me charming”.
- Crafty – “I love to build things with materials. I try different things and enjoy my time creating”
- Calm – “I keep calm and relaxed. I take deep breaths and meditate. In a stressful situation, I can think better and make better decisions when I am calm so I try to remember who I am, what is important to me and how to keep myself balanced”.
- Capable – “I can do anything I put my mind to. If I don’t have the knowledge, ability, skills or resources, I am able to get them by asking for help, learning or developing them. If I can’t do something now, it only means I haven’t found a way to get it, yet! But I will!”.
- Decisive – “I think for myself and make smart choices that are good for me. Some decisions are hard to make but I do it anyway. Not making a decision is a decision in itself. I pick the option that seems the best”.
- Efficient – “I plan my time and think ahead so I am ready for everything. I make good use of my time”.
- Encouraging – “I tell my friends good things when they are successful. When things are hard, I encourage them to be the best they can be and to try again”.
- Enthusiastic – “I am passionate and very eager. I enjoy the things I am interested in and do them with motivation”.
- Easy-going – “I am flexible and friendly. I focus more on the company of people rather than on what we do. People like hanging around with me as I am accommodating of their needs (without ignoring my own)”.
- Fair – “I play fair. I follow the rules and take turns. I respect the other players in the game and I know how to lose”.
- Friendly – “I am a good friend. I love being with friends and I enjoy my time with them. The important thing in friendship is the fun and good times we”.
- Funny – “I find humor in many things. I enjoy making people laugh. I use humor to ease conflict but I make sure that everyone is laughing and nobody is singled out. I remember that being funny does not need to make others feel bad; it is supposed to make them laugh”.
- Generous – “I am kind. I give my time, my things and my skills when I can”.
- Gentle – “I treat fragile things and fragile people with care”.
- Grateful – I appreciate and am happy for what I have. I focus on what is good in my life. I remember to be happy for my health, my family, my friends, my abilities and for life. The more grateful I am for what I have, the more I have of it”.
Join me next time for healthy and powerful character traits H to Z.
This post is part of the series Helping Kids Build Character:
- Helping Kids Build Healthy and Powerful Character Traits
- Healthy and Powerful Character Traits for Children (A to G)
- Developing Good Character Traits for Children: H to Z
- Positive Character Traits for Children: Watering with Weed Killer
- How to Destroy Good Character Traits for Children: A to F
- How to Destroy Good Character Traits for Children: G-Z
- Kids’ Personality Traits: How to Change Them with Awareness
- Character Traits: Swapping the Bad for the Good