How to Teach Virtue to Your Kids

September 7, 2021

Sarah Shelton

Sarah Shelton

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What is virtue? It is doing what is honorable and just, but it is also something we can teach by example. You can teach virtue and integrity in your children, even in this crazy world we live in.

two kids walking outside holding hands and text How to Teach Virtue to Your Kids

We live in a fallen world, and there are so many things being thrown at our children left and right. Virtue isn’t just a character trait. Being a virtuous takes decision making skills. You choose the right road, or the wrong one.

This is something we can easily teach to our children, especially at home.

Teach by example.

True story. I accidentally walked out of a big box store with an unpaid purchase that wedged itself in the back of the cart. The kids helping me unload the car found the item and threw it in one of the bags.

I didn’t think anything of it until I checked my grocery receipt and noticed that item wasn’t on it. I asked the kids about it, and one answered that it was in the cart; they thought it had fallen out of a bag.

“Oh, no!” I said, we have to go back.

“What?” asked my oldest.

“No way. We just got home,” said my youngest.

“Here she goes again,” said the middle child.

“You, my dear, got it right!” I answered.

Are we known for taking care of our mistakes, going back to the store? I’ve done it, and yes, I received the weird looks from the cashiers when instead of returning an item, I show a receipt and want to pay for an item.

Only the elderly lady behind me congratulated me on a good job teaching my children by example. The rest of the people who witnessed the event thought I was odd.

They were probably right! Sadly virtue is a long-lost art, so it is up to us to demonstrate it to our children and expect the very best from them.

Do what is right, even when it is not convenient.

I explained to my kids that we often do what is right, whether it is convenient or not. Let’s face it, they received the message loud and clear. Especially since we all had to load up and head back to a store we just escaped from. Not an idea of fun, but the dividends pay in the long run. 

Virtue is a lofty concept yet one that is attainable. Benjamin Franklin said, “Without virtue, man can have no happiness in this world.” We see this is true so much more today than in the past.

Virtue is a moral code. It is a decision we make for right rather than wrong. It is the quality that makes a man, woman, or child upstanding, among other attributes.

Encourage your children and set the standard.

When we encourage our children to aim high, we will see that the fruits of this are a family unit that works for instead of against each other. Being virtuous is, in a sense upholding what is right and leading by example.

Establish limits and ask the questions to help your kids make wise choices:

  • Establish limits and rules to help children to make wise choices about so many different things. Home is where choices begin, and that is easily nurtured toward a virtuous outcome.
  • Vett movies, television shows and music. Surround our homes with good influences and godly examples. A subscription to Pureflix or other networks is a good idea as an investment to your family.
  • Monitor screen time, especially on the internet.
  • Set parental controls and safety on all devices at home.
  • It begins at home. Do the children get along? Are they diligent in doing school work and chores? These choices to do what is right is then extend outside of the home.
  • How do we look when we leave the house? Are we wearing appropriate clothing?
  • Who are our children’s friends? Options such as making wise decisions in their friendships are essential.

More helps for Teaching Virtue and Good Character at Home:

This past year there were so many times I wanted to teach my children or grandchildren a quick life lesson. I began podcasting for the children with the “Just For Kids Series” within the larger framework of my Vintage Homeschool Moms show.

For example, listening to the podcast Teaching Kids to Think will challenge your kids to make wise decisions and weigh the pros and cons of rash decisions they can possibly make. Many avoidable mistakes are made because some kids don’t have the skill set to think through solutions to problems.

I’ve put together a free character training planner on virtue for the children. It is available for free for a limited time. We have new one that get emailed out for free each month to help you in teaching good character at home.

Felice Gerwitz is a wife, mother of five graduated homeschoolers, and grandma to eight. She began Media Angels® Publishing while pregnant with her third child and went on to write and produce many books and online conferences. Felice is the founder of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network and the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network. Felice invites you to join her on her show Vintage Homeschool Moms, celebrating over 400 episodes!

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