As parents, we need to instil in our children particular traits that are essential for them to adopt and to learn to master early in life. 

This will assist them as they grow and continue to develop into responsible adults and become self-reliant, responsible and well-adjusted people.  These traits need to be inculcated from a very early age.


The main traits are..

  1. Resilience – the ability to bounce back after setbacks.
  2. Assertiveness – to take on challenges and resist intimidation
  3. Honesty and integrity – essential in all situations
  4. Confidence – for maintaining happiness
  5. Self-esteem – to build character
  6. Creativeness – to develop their own talents, gifts, ideas and abilities
  7. General social behaviours – good manners, eating etiquette, talking etc

1 Resilience

Teaching resilience is essential when raising children so that they can bounce back from situations where they may otherwise feel challenged or overwhelmed.  

Good strong parental guidance leads by example, showing and explaining how to cope when faced with difficult or challenging situations, dealing with friendships, or falling short of their expectations about school exams, sporting results and the many other challenges that children face.  

The young child, as well as the teenager, needs to be guided and encouraged through difficult times

Children need to learn that by solving problems and keeping everything in perspective, challenges can be overcome.  Problems can be faced head-on and solutions can be found.  

The young child, as well as the teenager, needs to be guided and encouraged through difficult times, in order to learn that, by analysing a situation and solving problems, with resilience, difficulties can be overcome and that there is always a way.

2 Assertiveness

When children become more confident, assertiveness will follow.  Assertiveness is a by-product of confidence. As children grow and develop and experience new challenges or different situations in life, they are less likely to shy away from new difficulties they face and be more likely to speak up and ask for help.

This helps them to feel more capable and builds assertiveness.  Children need to understand that we all make mistakes when learning a new sport or playing a musical instrument. The most important thing is having a go… participating and understanding that learning new skills can take time.  

Learning New Skills can take time

Parents need to encourage, not step in and take over, or over-react.  Children are watching and learning from adults all the time and sensitive children will not want to participate if they sense a negative response.

Affirmative words and actions and reactions from their parents will reinforce positive assertiveness building skills.

Parents need to be very careful using comparisons between themselves and/or other siblings as this will create feelings of insecurity and low self-esteem. They may lead to a fear of rejection and put doubt in their minds, making them feel not capable or that others rights are more important than theirs.

It’s important to build assertiveness in children so their confidence and self-esteem levels will grow and develop. This helps them feel valued, loved and heard. Children being assertive encourages good positive communication between parents and children. Kids will feel free to speak up when they feel something is wrong, or they may feel uneasy about something.  They will feel that they have a right to express an opinion when appropriate, knowing they will be listened to.

3 Honesty and Integrity.

Honesty and integrity are integral to a child’s early development and should be learnt from a very early age.  When children are playing games or sharing with others, this is when parents can explain clearly about not cheating and being fair with each other, playing by the rules, not the ones made-up on the spot to suit. This develops integrity and demonstrates the importance of sharing.

Fairness and honesty can be taught while playing board games

Children will in turn expect their siblings, other children, and adults also to behave with the same integrity and honesty.  Integrity and honesty goes to the heart of proper family values, how parents behave and expect their children to behave, and that everyone can be trusted.

If parents (and children) demonstrate honesty in daily life, and if it is reinforced and rewarded, this helps children to transition into the teenage years, knowing that honesty and integrity is a normal part of their everyday life. This will go a long way in helping them to become well-rounded adults.

4 Confidence

Develop Confidence and Self-Esteem in your child.

Parents will not always be around to assist a child when difficulties arise, but if you know how to build confidence in your children, you will be gently using encouraging words and affirmations.  Kids’ confidence will thus grow in small steps as adversities arise.

Growing confidence is inevitable and children will be able to stand on their own two feet and be proud of their achievements. These are very important lessons to learn in life, as facing up to challenges builds self-esteem and confidence.

5. Self esteem

Building self-esteem in children is vital and is closely linked to their behaviour and to their overall happiness in life.  Children need confidence for their everyday wellbeing, and resilience.  Self-esteem building activities for kids are a great way of knowing how to teach self confidence in children.

Children need confidence for their everyday wellbeing

The ability to bounce back and face challenges enables children to feel accepted and fit in with others.  When children are able to be confident, their self-esteem is heightened. Children need lots of praise, when it is due, and strict discipline when their behaviour is unacceptable.  The issue should be dealt with promptly, quietly and fairly. 

Confidence comes when they are encouraged and praised appropriately without excess. Parents need to teach children how to behave correctly when difficulties arise and not crush a child’s feelings when things go wrong.  

Confidence and self-esteem come from within, when a child feels they have mastered something themselves, perhaps a difficult or new challenge that may take some time to overcome. 

Your children’s confidence and self-esteem levels will grow with every new difficulty.

6 Creativity

All children are born with creative ability and when given the opportunities to develop their creative talents, they learn to explore new possibilities. Their brain forms new pathways, heightening their cognitive ability to try new things and overcome new challenges.  Creativity develops imagination and this can be expressed through creative writing, music, dance, theatre, plays and the arts.

Visiting museums and exploring art galleries, appreciating and discussing with others as to what they see and how they feel, is essential to opening up a child’s mind to explore different avenues that they may develop an interest in.

Whilst many screen-based activities can be creative, parents need to allow their children to experience a variety of sporting activities to develop and strengthen hand-eye coordination, ball-handling skills, along with balance and muscle strength. This in turn leads to close friendships through collaboration between team members, developing strategies and helps them to consolidate their opinions, strengths, and values.

Playing games involves developing creative strategies

Children are happier when they are engaged in creative activities that bring them pleasure.

This develops new thought processes and cognitive thinking ability, expanding their knowledge as they engage in new creative skills.

7 Good Manners and Social Behaviours.

Good manners are one of the fundamental behaviours that parents need to teach their children, to fit into society.  Without proper basic manners, children will struggle and find that others will not approve of their behaviour.

Table etiquette, politeness, queuing in line, eating your food, playing with others and knowing how to behave when playing on the children’s playground equipment, or eating out at a restaurant and many more, all require parental guidance, practice and the setting of good examples. When raising children, these common essential behaviours need consistent encouragement and reminders to reinforce and to eventually become a natural characteristic of every child.

Read more about Raising Happy Children

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