Teaching Character Traits

Character traits are a big thing.  Sometimes I forget that kids don’t have the innate sense of what is proper.  I forget that what I consider “common sense” isn’t even a speck on their radar.  When kids play sports, there’s a lot of practice that goes into developing their skills.  We don’t just throw them out on the court or field and expect outstanding results.  The same goes for character traits.  We must continually coach our children in the ways we want them to behave.

This is why we’ve decided that, in addition to the collection of Burgess book activities and resources, we’re going to start a series of posts that revolve around the character traits found in the Thornton W. Burgess books.  Each post will center upon a specific character trait, which will include a brief description, as well as links to activities and book suggestions that help define this trait even further.


Let’s be honest here: not all character traits are positive.  Though we want our children to learn and develop the “good” ones, each of us experience weakness and difficulty in certain areas of our lives.  This is no different for children.  Talking about negative traits and reading stories about others who struggle with similar issues is especially beneficial to children.  It gives them the reassurance that they are not alone in experiencing negative behavior and helps them identify ways in which to change it.

Here are some of the traits we hope to cover:

Positive Character Traits Other Traits & Issues
acceptance/uniqueness anger
attentiveness greed
caring stealing
compassion stubbornness
contentment/gratitude moving
courage/bravery/overcoming fear being lost

We look forward to writing this series.  As parents and teachers, we are always searching for more ways to teach our kids how to get along in the world.  Sometimes we encounter traits in our children that are embarrassing to admit to friends and family, so we go in search of information via the web in hopes to come across a resource that will help provide guidance and answers.  Our hope is that, at the very least, we can be a stepping stone for you in the right direction.