Character traits – what are they? Simply put, character traits are the qualities that show an individual to be a person of high moral values. They are the distinguishing marks that tell us whether a person has character, i.e. high moral values.
- Character traits are the basis for family values training.
- Character traits are the basis of authentic character education.
- Character traits are the basis for character building.
- Character traits are the basis for personal counseling.
- Character traits are the basis for life coaching.
At the bottom of this page is a table of 66 character traits. The challenge of teaching that many qualities sounds immense, doesn’t it? Character education teachers would have a much easier task if there were only 6 character traits instead of 66. Fathers and Mothers could take it easy if they only had to instill 6 character traits and not 66. There are, however, a full 66 character traits!
Would you omit any?
PARENTS: If you’re like most mothers and fathers, you know that character traits form the basis of quality family values training. You know the worth of every one of the 66 character traits. You want each of your children to grow up to be a person who exercises all of them on a consistent, daily basis. In an ideal world, the family values training you give your children, whether formally or informally, would start with love, progress to courage of convictions, and then tackle compassion, respect, responsibility, integrity, honesty, etc. – through the entire character trait table. In our less-than-ideal world, you still do your best to include every quality in your training.
Family values are, after all, the best thing you can give your children. Family values are far more important than electronic toys, cell phones, stylish clothing, or money. Family values define the whole system of beliefs that will guide your children in the home and throughout their lives as mature adults. To teach family values is to raise a person who will make a positive contribution to society. Character traits can make a whopping difference in your children’s lives!
EDUCATORS: Most administrators and teachers know that character traits are the basis of authentic character education, but many have bought into a belief that character education needs to address only six character traits. It’s an easier system to handle. Their busy curricula make it difficult even to fit in those six, so they look for character education lesson plans that require little time or effort. Since they must spread limited budgets over many areas, they look for character education materials that teach those six character traits at little expenditure.
Responsible educators who strive for excellence, however, understand that it is vital to instill all 66 of the character traits to the greatest degree possible. They understand that all 66 of the character traits affect academic success. Respect, attentiveness, consideration, and cooperation, for example, impinge on the value of class time. Responsibility, diligence, and determination affect homework assignments. Fairness, compassion, friendliness, love, and others weed out bullying and name-calling.
We think you’ll agree that every one of the character traits in our table has the potential to make a whopping difference in a school!
COUNSELORS / COACHES: Those who counsel or coach others know that character traits are the basis for all character building. Whether you are counseling in a faith-based setting or giving input as a life coach, you recognize the value of character traits.
Take relationship coaching or counseling, for example. Whether you are talking about dating, marriage, employer/employee, or some other relationship, you know that your counselees need to exercise character if a relationship is to improve. You’ll teach them to exercise compassion (caring), getting into another person’s skin and feeling what that person is feeling. You’ll show them how to exercise integrity, refusing to be anything other than one consistent, honest being.
Above all, you’ll present love, the most important of the character traits. You’ll be sure the people whom you counsel understand its true meaning if you want your counseling to effect change. You’ll show counselees that love consists of always doing what is best for the person who is the object of that love. Of all the character traits, that has the greatest potential to make a whopping difference in a life!
Teach all of the character traits, exercise them all, and you won’t believe the whopping difference it will make.
The 66 Character Traits
Adaptability Appreciation Attentiveness
Availability Commitment Compassion
Concern Confidence Consideration
Consistency Contentment Cooperation
Courage Creativity Decisiveness
Deference Dependability Determination
Diligence Discernment Discretion
Efficiency Equitableness Fairness
Faithfulness Fearlessness Flexibility
Forgiveness Friendliness Generosity
Gentleness Gratitude Honesty
Humility Integrity Joyfulness
Kindness Love Loyalty
Meekness Mercifulness Observance
Optimism Patience Peacefulness
Perseverance Persistence Persuasiveness
Prudence Punctuality Purpose
Resourcefulness Respect Responsibility
Security Self-Control Sincerity
Submissiveness Tactfulness Temperance
Thoroughness Thriftiness Tolerance
Trustworthiness Truthfulness Virtue