Custom CSS of Section contains Conditional Preview for See Life Campaign Elements

Fun Ways for You to Instill Virtues in Your Children

Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
iStock/pixelheadphoto
Want to instill virtues in your children but struggle over how to do it without resorting to lectures? Courtney DeFeo has come up with enjoyable ways to get through to your kids with life-changing values.

My kids are brilliant little humans. They can sniff out a lecture or a virtue lesson in seconds. They probably recognize it in my demeanor or tone, but as soon as I start in, they tune out.

Over the years, I’ve learned to better deliver the truth and values that are important to my family by being creative. While I unashamedly and directly speak about Jesus and our faith, my goal is to make the “lesson” feel more like an adventure than a lecture, like sneaking carrots into brownies. And before my children even know what’s happening, they’ve had fun working on virtuous tasks.

Roleplay kindness

As much as I love to share my heart with my kids, I’ve learned they mostly want to be heard. So at dinner, I ask questions — the more, the better — and I mix in silly questions with real ones. Sometimes the person responding will use a fake microphone or speak with an accent, which adds to the laughter.

I ask questions like:

  • What would you do if you noticed a friend being bullied on the playground?
  • Would you rather eat a rotten egg or burned brussels sprouts?
  • What would you do if a friend kept talking about you behind your back?
  • Would you rather wear your pants backward to school or wear no shoes to school?

My kids don’t get it right every time, but I’m encouraged when they do. Recently, a teacher wrote to me: “I just watched Larson escort the new student down the hall with her arm around her and the biggest smile.”

Create moments for generosity

It’s not often my kids are in a position to be generous with their time and money. However, when we’ve made time to do that as a family, I’ve seen the very best of my children. They are generous; they just need opportunities to show it.

I’m always on the lookout for any time our church or community offers a chance for families to serve together. I’ve also found that asking our kids if they have ideas on how to love and serve our neighbors can create opportunities where they are most invested. My girls have brainstormed unique ideas, from lemonade stands for charity to coordinating a class gift for their teachers. It’s fun to watch them get hooked on generosity.

Practice patience

This activity sets the stage for a discussion: I pull out my phone or a timer and have a family competition. Who can stay quiet the longest? Who can stand on one leg without moving the longest? Or when we go to a restaurant, I offer the dessert choice to the person who waits with the best attitude.

A child who waits well is headed toward becoming an adult who can wait on bigger things. Waiting for Mom to get off the phone or waiting their turn in a game seems small, but this will later translate into waiting for a job or a spouse or a house. Waiting is one of those skills that translates into trusting God well. Can they trust that God has their best interests in mind?

When I was with my youngest daughter at a gymnastics meet, I’ll never forget watching her wait as roughly 20 kids received their ribbons ahead of her. She clapped wildly for each one. Finally, they called her name, and we got to cheer wholeheartedly for her.

Share stories of faith

My husband and I have fun telling stories of faith. We read the Bible and learn about all the characters from Moses to Ruth to Mary. However, faith becomes very real and engaging when our children hear about their own grandparents, aunts and uncles, not just following God, but wrestling with God.

I tell stories in a dramatic voice at bedtime. My children laugh and listen closely because they want to hear more. It also opens the door to questions and comments about their own faith journey. I’ll never forget telling my kids how my mom (their meese) came to know Jesus during her years at college with my dad (their pop). They could not believe that Pop almost broke up with Meese over faith. It led to an engaging conversation about marriage and how important it is to be on the same page with a spouse concerning faith.

Open our lives

As I think about how I want my family to leave a legacy of faith and good virtues, I lean into Matthew 5:16, “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

Although this one isn’t a virtue, it creates the ideal environment for virtue to thrive. When we open our hearts, homes and lives to others, God brings other, unexpected families into our lives. Through these encounters — from offering acts of kindness to strangers, to serving families or practicing authentic friendships with community groups from church — our family has experienced Jesus and has learned that living out those virtues can indeed be fun.

This summer, I saw the best come out in all four of my kids as they served families with cancer at a camp. They were in their sweet spot playing with these kids, getting their meals and making their beds. It was the first time my kids had a solid week dedicated to living out their values with no other agenda. It was fulfilling to see the fruit of parenting, as God worked in their hearts.

Courtney DeFeo is author of In This House We Will Giggle.

Dynamic CTA Template Below

Your Teen Needs You Most of All

No parent of teens is perfect and even the best can learn how to better connect with their son or daughter. Get practical action steps to better connect with your teenager in 8 Essential Tips for Parenting Your Teen in this FREE video series!

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.
Emerson-Eggerich4-840w

Understand How to Respect and Love your Son Well

Why doesn’t my son listen to me? Have you ever asked that question? The truth is, how you see your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. In fact, we’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.

Reconnected: The Digital Experience

Is the love there, but not the spark? Reawaken fun in your marriage and move from roommates to soulmates again with the help of this 7-part online video experience. Learn how to connect emotionally and spiritually as husband and wife using techniques such as dreaming together and establishing deep, heartfelt communication. The Digital Experience includes 7 teaching videos, an online study guide and access to additional tools and resources to help spouses reconnect.

Next Steps: Marriage Assessment

We want your marriage to be thriving and healthy. Take the free Marriage Assessment from Focus on the Family to learn how to strengthen your bond with your spouse and get the tools to help you need to grow closer together. 

Next Steps: Fruit of the Spirit Devotionals for Couples

The Fruit of the Spirit Devotional is a free series of nine short videos to get you into God’s Word and inspire you to seek the Holy Spirit’s help in loving your spouse.

Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

About the Author

You May Also Like

Bible

Sharing God’s Love With Others

Hagar’s story in the Bible shows how we can share God’s love with others and let them know that He sees each of us in our trials.

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 5: It’s Going to be Amazing!

After a couple has chosen life, hear the heartwarming stories of children that culture would have cast aside, yet are making tremendous impacts in their communities. Whether the diagnosis was adverse or the circumstances were difficult, these stories will inspire you to come along side of families who have chosen life!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 4: Sometimes the Choice is Hard

Hear real life stories of parents who have made the decision to choose life even though the circumstances were overwhelming. You’ll see why “ALL” life is precious to God and why choosing life is always the right decision!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 6: Families Helping Families!

So, after all you’ve seen through the SeeLife ‘21 Episodic journey; what can you do now? We’ll share how you can partner with some amazing organizations that are making significant impacts in the pro-life movement! You want to Celebrate Life!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 3: The Power of a Picture

Have you ever wondered what a baby looked like in the womb? With today’s technology, Moms and Dads can see the baby’s heartbeat, facial expressions, and movements! You’ll find out why more women choose life once they hear their baby’s heartbeat and realize it’s a real living human!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 2: Heroes Providing Hope

Discover the amazing work our PRC’s Directors, Nurses, and Volunteers are making in their communities! You’ll see firsthand testimonies of a PRC in action, and that there are other options outside of abortions! You’ll also discover how your family can support your local PRC!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

In this episode, we will tackle tough questions like, “When does life begin?” and “What does the Bible
say about Life?” You’ll discover and understand the stages of pre-born life and that babies are more than
just a clump of cells!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!