15 Moral Values For Students To Help Build A Good Character

check_icon Research-backed

Moral values for kids are essential principles that children must learn from early childhood. They are like guidelines that assist a person in choosing between right from wrong or good from bad. Understanding these values is crucial for making honest, credible, and fair decisions in everyday life.

Following moral ideals can help children develop a likable character and a pleasant personality. You, as a parent, and your family, play an important role in guiding, supporting, and hand-holding your children in the path of developing moral values.

Read on to learn more about the importance of instilling moral principles in children and how you can imbibe them in your child.

In This Article

Importance Of Moral Values In Children

Imbibing moral values in a child will have the following positive effects.

  1. Helps build a positive character with traits such as compassion, respect, kindness, and humility.
  1. Makes the child distinguish between right and wrong or good and bad. It can eventually promote rational thinking and unbiased judgment.
  1. Provides a perspective that shapes attitudes and beliefs towards various aspects of life.
  1. Boosts their self-confidence and helps them stay positive even in difficult situations.
Moral values for kids boost their self-confidence
share button

Image: Shutterstock

  1. Allows children to channelize their energies in the right direction.
  1. Works as a moral compass that helps them stay off the negative influence of peers, social media, or society in general, as they grow into teens or adults.
  1. Aids in setting high standards of social living that help develop society at large.

From early childhood to adulthood, moral and character development undergoes continuous evolution through the family’s support and guidance.

Ways To Inculcate Moral Values In Children

Ethics for kids is all about developing positive character traits. Here is how you can support them.

  1. Be their role model: Preaching a child is of no use unless you practice what you preach. Children learn better by observing their environment. Set a good example by following virtues, such as honesty, humility, responsibility, and compassion.
  1. Share moral experiences: Moral bedtime stories on topics such as honesty, justice, being helpful, etc., are good, but sharing positive real-life experiences is even better. Share such incidents from your life experiences to acquaint your child with those morals.
  1. Help them practice their learning: Let children put these values into practical use. For example, show them ways to be humble by talking politely to others, helping someone needy, or avoiding bragging about their good deeds, etc.
Encourage kids to help someone in need
share button

Image: Shutterstock

  1. Acknowledge good behavior: Reward good behavior appropriately. This positive reinforcement need not necessarily be a gift. You can discuss your child’s positive behavior with your family and share what your child did and its impact. When a family praises a child, it boosts their confidence and self-esteem.
  1. Communicate clearly and effectively: Communicate moral values in a manner that is easy for a child to interpret. Simplify it into a language that a child can easily understand. You can use examples from the child’s life and teach them the moral values behind it and their possible impact.
  • Intelligent use of media: Media and its impact on children and teens can be positive or negative. Navigating your child’s exposure to the media could help the child derive useful moral learnings. For example, you can watch a movie with your child or read an article on the internet that reflects high moral standards and positive effects. You can try this with older children.

So, what are those essential moral values that children should learn?

15 Moral Values For Children

Here is a list of moral values that parents should try to instill in their children.

1. Gratitude

Gratitude is the readiness to show appreciation and thankfulness for what you have. It begins with contentment. Cultivate contentment and gratitude in your child by teaching them to be thankful for what they have in life. Teach them to never take anyone or anything for granted.

2. Honesty

Children read in books that “honesty is the best policy.” But to learn its true meaning, they need to practice it continuously. A child can nurture honesty by being truthful towards their parents, teachers, and others around them. Acquaint the child to the fact that it is always best to accept a mistake with honesty instead of lying to cover it up. Show them how they can begin with small steps, such as being honest with their teacher and classmates.

Consultant pediatrician and neonatologist Dr. Neema Shrestha says, “What a child learns during their early years is what they become in their adult life. If they have been taught about being honest, respecting others, and treating others with kindness, they will eventually become adults who will grow up to value relationships with their family, colleagues, and employees. They will also learn to show kindness to those around them and be honest in their relationships.”

3. Sharing

Sharing is caring. Thus, a child must know the importance of sharing with those in need of them. Sharing is an act that should bud out of selflessness. You can teach your child to share their belongings/resources with others who might need those things desperately. Encourage the child to share their toys with their siblings and cousins or donate some books, food, and clothes to the less privileged children.

Bavithra Esai Selvan Malathy, a mother, reflects on her experience teaching her child about sharing, “Recently, we (she, her husband, and her daughter) visited one of our friends for a special gathering. There was one other family with a toddler the same age as our 18-month-old. My husband thought that this is a good opportunity to teach our child the value of sharing. So whenever she went and picked up a toy, he gently encouraged her to give it to the other child, saying, “Give it to her, Chikku”, “Give it to her, Chikku” [Chikku is her pet name]. At first, our child hesitated and had a bit of both confusion and curiosity. But she always falls for my husband’s gentle tone, so she decided to share. Everyone around started clapping and saying, Good Girl!! Good Girl!!. This actually sparked a sense of joy and excitement in my kid (i).”

protip_icon Quick fact
Sharing behaviors in toddlers and younger children appear to be significantly influenced by parental attitudes (1).

4. Empathy

Empathy is considered as the capacity to which an individual can understand another person’s problems, issues, and concerns. It is like putting yourself into someone else’s shoes. To raise an empathetic child, you need to be empathetic to them first. Listen to their concerns, issues, and problems, and try to help them. Come up with mutually agreed solutions.

5. Compassion

Compassion encourages them to care for others
share button

Image: Shutterstock

Compassion is the feeling of love and care that you feel towards others. It is a step ahead of empathy since you not only feel the other person’s feelings but also strive to help them with their problems. The development of this positive emotion will help your child develop positive relationships with others.

protip_icon Quick tip
Regularly volunteer with your child in elderly care facilities and other communities to teach them compassion practically (2).

6. Cooperation

Cooperation is an act of extending help to others to attain a goal that is often mutual. Collaboration at home is the first step towards developing a sense of cooperation. Doing household chores together and listening to each other’s problems are some acts of cooperation that a family should follow. Such actions help a growing child think as “we” rather than “me.”

7. Respect

Young children should learn to respect every individual irrespective of age, caste, creed, religion, ethnicity, beliefs, and difference of perspective. It is a crucial step to develop healthy social and professional relations when a child grows up. Talking politely to the school bus driver or house help is an example that you can set for your child.

8. Equality

Equality is an integral part of several moral values, such as justice. Treating all individuals equal in terms of rights, opportunities, and status is essential for eradicating thoughts of supremacy. You can set the right examples by allowing your child to play with other children, irrespective of their social differences.

9. Justice

Justice equips a child to stand against unfair and unjust behaviors and attitudes. It helps them decide between right and wrong and then choose the right path. Set examples of justice right at home. For instance, set the same lights out time for the child and their sibling with no exceptions. You could politely explain why elders get extra time to stay awake since they have to wind up all the household chores.

10. Courage

Courage is the willingness to do difficult things in difficult situations
share button

Image: Shutterstock

A willingness to do difficult things in difficult situations is called courage. This ethical practice prepares an individual to do what is right. The next time your child shows the courage to complain about a classmate who was bullying a new student, praise them for their courage. Tell them that it is a proud moment for you to know that they are courageous.

11. Acceptance

It is the ability to accept the difference of perspective with another person. It widens the child’s perspective and helps see a situation in a relatively different way. For instance, if a child and their sibling disagree on some issue, ask them to calmly listen to each other’s opinions without prejudice. Teach them to accept the other person’s perspective and arrive at the best solution through discussion.

12. Generosity

It plays a vital role in making your child a kind and socially responsible person. A generous child will be ready to give his/her time and help others liberally and irrespective of any prerequisites. Let your child extend their hand of help to others who need it. Whatever little they can do, let them do.

13. Responsibility

The best way to make your child responsible is to set an example yourself. A few acts of responsibility that you can adopt at home are washing your dishes, filling empty water bottles, keeping shoes at designated places, spending time with family, and following a routine. You can help them learn better by assigning them responsibilities and showering praise when they complete all the assigned tasks.

protip_icon Quick tip
Do not praise or reward your child for every routine task and action. This will help them understand that these everyday responsibilities are expected of them (2).

14. Perseverance

Perseverance is an act of putting persistent efforts to achieve a goal or accomplishment. Teaching perseverance is about acquainting your child to a never-say-die attitude. Inculcate it in daily life. For instance, if the child gets poor grades, then instead of berating them, motivate them to keep working until they attain the best grades. Shower words of motivation, whenever possible, to teach the child to be perseverant.

15. Self-control

Cultivate self-control by promoting patience and self-regulation
share button

Image: Shutterstock

Self-control plays a significant role in helping children control their thoughts, words, actions, and emotions. Such children do not act impulsively and avoid reacting in rage. Cultivate self-control by promoting the value of patience and self-regulation. For example, the next time you feel angry or impatient about an incident, control your emotions, and act calmly. It will set the right example of self-control to your child.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What will happen if kids don’t follow moral values?

Children facing moral poverty cannot feel others’ pain when someone is in pain or participate in someone’s happiness. The lack of empathy and values can cause them to commit crimes (3). According to the US Department of Justice, children’s lack of moral values can lead to juvenile crimes and violence.

2. How do moral values affect a child’s behavior?

Value education can help develop positive character traits and behavior. Children with moral values can be self-conscious about their behavior and try to self-reinforce positive behaviors that are more acceptable to society. They tend to be honest and take responsibility for their actions. They tend to avoid immoral behaviors that are not acceptable by parents, school authorities, or society (4).

3. What role do schools play in shaping a child’s moral values and character?

“Children spend most of their time during the day in schools along with their peers and teachers. Schools can be the starting point in teaching them about patience, kindness, honesty, love, and respect. Schools act as the first society where children learn to live in harmony with each other, treat everyone with kindness, and respect others. Therefore, educating children about moral values in school can help to build their confidence and teach them about teamwork and cooperation,” opines Dr. Shrestha.

These are some of the fundamental moral values for kids that help them build an optimistic personality. These values help constitute strong ideas, beliefs, and right attitudes to evolve into morally strong and undeterred individuals. You may start teaching early to pave the right path for your child. Also, invest your time and effort to promote your child’s moral development. Altogether, moral values represent a human’s emotional attributes and experiences while guiding us in the right direction and motivating us to follow the right path.

Infographic: Activities To Teach Moral Values To Students

Moral values are essential to be taught at a young learning age for children to grow into empathetic, humble, and respectful individuals. So here are some classroom activities that will make the learning process fun and plant the seed of values in students at an early age.

fun ways for children to learn values (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get the high-quality PDF version of this infographic.

Download Infographic in PDF version

Key Pointers

  • It is vital for kids to learn moral values.
  • Gratitude, honesty, sharing, respect, cooperation, and compassion are some of the most important moral values that a child should have.
  • Sharing moral experiences, communicating, and acknowledging good behavior may help inculcate moral values in children.
Moral Values For Kids_illustration

Image: Dall·E/MomJunction Design Team

Personal Experience: Source


MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. How Parents Influence Early Moral Development.
  2. Raising Caring, Respectful, Ethical Children.
  3. Lack of Moral Guidance Causes Juvenile Crime and Violence (From Juvenile Crime: Opposing Viewpoints P 107-117 1997 A E Sadler ed — See NCJ-167319).
  4. Moral Development In Children.
Was this article helpful?
The following two tabs change content below.