8 Most Important Positive Character Traits Every Child Should Have

Childhood is not only a beautiful phase in life, it is also the best phase for children to learn many things that will help them grow into a responsible adult. While there are many character traits that a child should learn, there are eight important positive character traits every child should have.

In fact, the eight traits are not only important, but essential too, as they can together help children to face the real world with confidence once they’re out of high school or college.

Wondering what are the positive character traits every child should have? Here they are, and let’s look at each of the eight character traits and how to instill and encourage them in children.

1. Independence

To instill and promote independence in your child, you should first provide a safe and secure environment, be it at home or in school. You can do this by providing:

  • Providing accessible and (preferably) labeled storage cabinets and boxes
  • Low sinks for hand-washing
  • Baby friendly toilets
  • Designated room/space to keep personal belongings

While your child should enjoy and experience independence, it should also come with responsibility. So make sure you provide specific tasks to develop a sense of responsibility in your child. You can do this by delegating certain tasks like:

  • Switching the lights on or off
  • Wash vegetables and fruits
  • Helping you to set up the dining table before meals and cleaning it after
  • Distributing snacks to everyone in your family
  • Tidying up his/her cupboard on Sundays
  • Rinsing and keeping the coffee cup in the kitchen basin, etc.
  • Keeping the shoes and school uniform in their designated places after school

You should also permit children, at times, to decide the type of activities they want to indulge in. For example, ask your child to choose whether she wants to stay indoors or play outdoors, and let her do what she decides to.

2. Curiosity

Children are curiosity personified, as they live in their own world where everything is a matter of wonder. They just want to explore, find out and know about everything around them. They want to know why something looks the way it is? What is it meant for? How does it work? And the list goes on and on. That’s why they’re often called as a “Bundle of Energy“.

The best thing about curiosity in a child is that it grows new connections in the brain, which in turn helps their cognitive abilities over time.

To encourage curiosity therefore, you should:

  • Always respond immediately to most, if not all your child’s queries
  • Never hesitate to tell them if you don’t know the answer
  • Promise them you will get back to them after knowing the answer
  • Give them a timeline before which you will find out and provide them the answer
  • Encourage them to ask questions by indulging into an activity of their interest
  • Provide opportunities to experience and explore various objects and environment
  • Ask them to share their feelings about the experiences which you observed they enjoyed a lot
  • Express your own curiosity about something and what you learned after finding out more about it

Offer them support and encouragement for the things they are interested or passionate about. Also, be an example to them by letting them know and see the things you are interested in or passionate about. Let them see your interest in playing music, singing, gardening, drawing etc.

3. Creativity

Play is in child’s nature. For your child to foster creativity, you should:

  • Provide experiences to play in the outdoors with the natural elements like fresh air, sunlight, sand, water, twigs, shells, stones, etc.
  • Provide enough opportunities for your child to play with both open-ended and closed-ended play materials.
  • Appreciate your child’s capabilities for creativity and innovation (irrespective of how wide or narrow) and allowing them to combine two or more materials together.
  • Narrate as many stories to them as possible. Now and then, start narrating a story and stop at some random point in the story and ask them to take it forward from there to complete the story.
  • Play memory recall games that uses the story telling method to remember more than 50 or 100 objects in less than 10 minutes

Open Ended & Close Ended Play

Wooden blocks are an example of an open-ended play material. With the blocks, your child can make a building, a house, a bridge or anything of their interest. In other words, the outcome of the play can be different almost every time. How different it can be depends on the creative abilities of the child.

A jigsaw puzzle on the other hand, is an example of closed-ended play materials, which always provides only one outcome at the end of the activity.

Also Read | The Cognitive Development Milestones in Early Childhood Years

4. Concentration

To show that you value concentration that your child exhibits, appreciate them for the same, especially right after they complete the task. For example, if you observe your child completely glued to the project work over hours, so that it can be submitted in school tomorrow for the science exhibition; you can say things like:

Do you know something? You were glued to your project work continuously for more than 2 hours, never took a break and completed it. Not everyone can concentrate like you do. I appreciate your ability to concentrate for such a long time on one task. Great job. Keep it up!

This way, you convey the fact that they are not only noticed but also appreciated for their ability to concentrate. Most of all, you are also appreciating them for getting the project done.

After appreciation therefore, you can also add that for one to be good at work, it is important to have the ability to Get Things Done, and only those who have the ability to concentrate and focus can get things done.

By saying words like these serves as a reinforcement for your child to develop concentration skills even further, which is only going to pay off well during their adult life.

5. Problem Solving

Problem-solving is one of the most important traits, which is also a skill, which can be developed by the educator by means of encouraging the children to solve the problems for themselves, especially through play.

As regards solving any day-to-day problems (also called challenges), allow your child to work on it and solve by himself. Exercise patience, wait and then offer help, if need be, in the form of guidance. Never get down and solve the problem yourself.

For example, let’s say your child is trying to solve a jigsaw puzzle. Instead of actually picking up the piece and placing it in the right place, you should ask the child to:

  • First have a close look at the picture on the box (as reference)
  • Identify the four corner pieces first (corner piece is usually easy to find)
  • Start from one of the four corners and then progress towards the center

Allow them to make the decision about which corner they want to start first and which next. If one approach doesn’t work, let them try alternatives. This way, you also teach them not only to take responsibility for their decisions but to own the consequences too.

If they are able to solve, it’s because of them. If they’re unable to, it is also because of them. Having said, no one is stopping them to solve it. They can always solve it after taking a break. There’s no need to self-impose a deadline on the task. After all, solving a puzzle is a fun activity.

6. Resilience

Children learn what they see. To encourage resilience in children therefore, parents should model ways of coping with failures and disappointment gracefully. The underlying word here is: Gracefully.

As a parent, it is important that you convey to your child that failures are inevitable. For instance, not only everyone in his class, let alone the school, can win the (30 meters) race. However, you should also tell them that nobody is stopping her/him to practice consistently to win the very same race the next year.

The lesson is in the context. If a child quits after a single loss, it clearly means he/she doesn’t want to work to win, which is not a healthy outlook.

You can tell your child her own story about how she fell down dozens of times when she was trying to walk on her own but she was never tired of getting up to her feet again, and again, and again to finally not only learn to walk independently but also run fast!

If the word resilience were to be put in 3 words, it would read: Be at it.

If it were to be put in 2 words, it would read: Never quit.

Once your child becomes aware of the meaning of these 5 words early in her/his life, resilience becomes almost second nature.

Also Read : 5 Powerful Things to Do to Make Your Child Smarter

7. Perseverance

As an adult, and more importantly as a parent or caregiver, you know the importance of perseverance, which is all about doing things repeatedly and being at it.

Similar to how you spoke to your child about her resilience to get back on her feet again and again to stand on both her legs no matter how many times she fell, to drive home the importance of resilience, you can talk about how you learned to ride a bicycle.

Nothing makes a child relate to something than stories.

So maybe you can also talk about how as a child you loved to stack cards to make a house but how it often fell when there were just a few cards to go because a strong wind blew suddenly and made them crash, or because your sibling/mom/dad switched on the fan not knowing you were busy stacking it; but those disappointments could never stop you from once again all the 4 boxes of cards!

Tell them your own stories and about people in your family. Tell your child about how her grandfather or grandmother or uncle or aunt attempted important exams (IAS, IPS, CA, CAT, GMAT etc.) more than twice only to finally get selected, and which is why he/she is in such a good position in life now.

Also talk about world’s greatest leaders and personalities and how they persevered. Talk about Abraham Lincoln, in spite of countless losses in elections finally became the president of USA.

Talk about how Dashrath Manjhi, the “Mountain Man” from Bihar carved a path 360 feet long, 25 feet deep in places and 30 feet wide over a span of 22 years, cutting through a mountain with just a hammer and a chisel.

When you find your child almost close to finishing or accomplishing a task but is unable to, be it while playing or during some activity including school activity, just compliments her saying things like “Yes. You are almost there”, “Just a little more to go”, “Just one more step to go and you’re done” or “You can finish it”, etc.

8. Collaboration

If one were to ask what is that one character trait among the 8 which a child simply can’t afford not to have, it would be collaboration.

The logic is pretty simple. Every child born will spend up to 80% (or more) of his or her life as an adult. In the real world, it is almost impossible to live to one’s potential unless one is good at social skills, one of which is collaboration.

Facilitating your child to play or perform an activity in a group is a very effective way to make them experience, learn and develop collaboration and cooperation. Some of the ways you can encourage collaboration as a trait in them are:

  • Boost their interactions among the group by providing small group tasks, group activity and group play
  • Allow them to work in pairs so that they can learn from each other
  • Shuffle up the pair for the next time as the children would get a different experience
  • Foster the attitude of give-and-take among the children
  • Appreciate and celebrate others’ accomplishments


By choosing to adopt the strategies shared above and making use of the examples can benefit in more ways than you think. Not only will you help your child to develop the 8 most important positive character traits every child should have, you will also help them manifest on the positive attitudes, its values and develop a deeper understanding of things.

What is critical however, is that you encourage your child on the positive character traits – on a consistent basis, so that they are able to repeatedly demonstrate the skills learned.

Also Read | The Critical Importance of Praise and Encouragement in Child Development

Disclaimer: The content in this page and across this website are for informational and educational purposes only. In case of any concerns about your child’s growth and development, please contact your professional child healthcare provider.