We all want our children to be successful. We invest countless hours and probably more than a few sleepless nights fretting over getting them into good schools or on the right team. But there are character qualities that kids need to have that are best learned at home. Here are ten that can bring life-long value to your child’s life. These are not things you sit down and teach in a lesson. They are best learned by living them out in front of your child.

  1. Diligence: Work hard; exceed others expectations of you; go the “second mile”; give more than you take. Most people do just what’s expected. Be someone who consistently does more than expected.
  2. Initiative: Don’t wait to be told what to do; look for the need and meet it; find ways to increase your value to the team; be a problem solver.
  3. Resourcefulness: Find alternative ways around the mountain; be an “independent thinker”; how can you solve a problem? Figure out how to figure things out on your own.
  4. Humility: Don’t take the glory for yourself; share your success with others; recognize your dependence on God and on others; have an accurate view of reality.
  5. Be Teachable: Stay open to new ways of doing things; don’t rely only on past experience alone; your way may not always be the best way; there’s more virtue in admitting when you’re wrong than trying to justify you’re right.
  6. Believe the Best in Others: Be a “glass half-full” kind of person; see others in a positive light; look for ways to affirm others; be an encourager. Assume the best instead of the worst in people.
  7. Choose Not to Be Offended: Don’t let others attitudes, actions or opinions “derail” you. Don’t choose to live with an offense. Move on, get over it.
  8. Stay Motivated: Find ways to stay charged up; have lots of energy; have goals and move toward them. Don’t wait for circumstances to be just right to be positive. Learn to live out of a joy that’s not based on always having the ideal circumstances…life is seldom that fair or kind!
  9. Integrity: Keep your word; do what you say; be trustworthy with responsibility; keep confidences; show up to meetings on time; don’t gossip.
  10. Listen Up: We live in a selfish society. Yet, over the centuries the people who live for something higher than themselves, the people who pursue God and seek to live for the betterment of mankind, live more fruitful and fulfilling lives. Give your child the gift of having a heart that sees the needs of others. Teach the value of self-sacrifice.

How do you model these character traits? Well that will need to be the subject of future blogs. But for now, print out this list, post it on your refrigerator, and purpose in your own heart to live out these character traits in front of your child. You’ll never regret it. I promise!