Best Resources for Building Christian Character in Kids


The task of building Christian character in our kids is daunting.

After 30 years of parenting, this is what I know for sure: whenever you think you have it figured out, you don’t. The game is constantly changing, so what worked yesterday might not work today. 

We need help from the church, from extended family and from our kids’ teachers and coaches. Just assuring that all these influences are aligned is daunting. 

We also need God’s help not only to build Christian character in our kids, but in ourselves as well. Since character is easier caught than taught, the example we’re presenting is supremely important. 

I’ve created a list of resources in three areas: helpful websites, books for parents and media for kids. 

What are the best resources for building Christian character in kids? My top six picks include two websites, two books for parents and two books for kids.

  1. Kids of Integrity from Focus on the Family Canada 
  2. Raising Boys and Girls from family counselors in Tennesee
  3. Strong and Kind by Korie Robertson
  4. Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Paul Tripp
  5. A Child’s First Bible by Kenneth N. Taylor 
  6. How Great is our God by Louie Giglio

(Note: Pictures of product covers are Amazon affiliate links. If you click through and purchase, a percentage will support this site.)

Websites

Focus on the Family

The organization founded by James Dobson in 1977 has a wealth of resources for Christian parents, including their flagship radio show, Focus on the Family and a podcast on parenting.

Adventures in Odyssey is a brand born at Focus that tells audio and video stories that teaches Christian values to kids. 

Focus on the Family Canada— Kids of Integrity

The Canadian branch of Focus has created a resource called Kids of Integrity, specifically designed to teach Christian character values to kids ages 3 to 10.  

Raising Boys and Girls

Three Christian therapists who work with families in Tennessee have a website and social media presence educating parents in best practices for child-rearing. They’ve also written a number of books. I like their emphasis on different parenting for different genders. There’s so much confusion and mis-information in this realm, it’s good to see someone addressing it. 

Redeemed Reader

Since there are no content ratings for books like there are for movies (find out why here), Redeemed Reader has you covered by reviewing kids’ books with an eye for which values are presented.

Common Sense Media

Although Common Sense Media is not written from a Christian world view, I appreciate the fact that they review movies, TV, games and books based on appropriate ages for children.

Books for Parents

Strong and Kind by Korie Robertson

Korie takes on the challenge of laying out a blueprint for parents for teaching their kids character.

She focuses on nine character values: strong, kind, honest, patient, compassionate, humble, loyal, joyful and self-controlled. 

The emphasis is not on being perfect parents, but on living and teaching the character traits we want to see in our children. 

Modern Parents, Vintage Values by Sissy Goff and Melissa Trevathan

Tackling head on the challenge of technology in a tech saturated world, the authors are family counselors.

They help families who face the difficulty of teaching timeless principles to kids in a world that is changing rapidly. 

Our 24 Family Ways by Clay Clarkson

The Clarkson family has done a lot of writing and speaking on Christian parenting, hospitality and friendships.

This book focuses on Christian values to teach your children in the home. 

Grace Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel

I read this years ago when my kids were little and was impressed by the emphasis on grace.

Legalism is an easy trap to fall into approaching the task of teaching Christian character.

The answer to that is grace. 

Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Paul Tripp

Certainly the hardest part of building Christian character is dealing with the heart issues.

Behavior is only the outworking of what’s happening in the heart.

So, addressing those foundational beliefs is the best way to shape character in kids. Countless conversations happen along the way. 

The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian

Stormie Omartian has written multiple books on how to pray about the people closest to you.

Since we do not battle against flesh and blood, but principalities and powers, we need supernatural help to prevail.

Stormie gives practical advice, shares personal stories and offers prayers crafted for specific needs.

The Lazy Genius Way by Kendra Adachi

This might seem like an odd book to include here, but I think it fits.

One of the foundational Lazy Genius principles is naming what matters. One reason parenting is hard is because of the clash of priorities.

Naming what matters forces an establishment of priorities. It also identifies what doesn’t matter as much. Getting clarity on priorities is a critical first step, no matter what you’re doing.  

Resources for Kids

A Child’s First Bible by Kenneth N. Taylor

This is my favorite Bible story book for the youngest listeners.

Because it’s not easy to reduce Bible lessons to the simplest terms, it’s easy to misrepresent what the Bible actually teaches.

This one stays faithful to the original text. 

How Great is our God by Louie Giglio

The world is an amazing place.

Pointing out the wonders of creation is a great way to help kids worship the Creator. 

Worshiping the Creator in bite sized devotional format is a great way to teach Christian character to kids. 

Veggie Tales

The well-known brand of animated vegetables teach Christian principles to kids through stories, songs and Bible verses.

The humor and compelling characters keep kids engaged without driving adults up the wall.

Larry the Cucumber and Bob the Tomato lead the cast, with Junior Asparagus rounding out the top three.

Little Dogs on the Prairie

Not as well known as Veggie Tales, but more an all-family favorite for us.

Little Dogs has lots of layered humor for adults and kids, catchy tunes, compelling characters and biblical principles.

Unfortunately the hard copy DVDs have gone out of print, but there are digital copies of the three DVDs available on the Fancy Monkey Website.

Adventures in Odyssey

Created by Focus on the Family to teach kids Christian principles, Adventures in Odyssey started as a radio drama featuring Mr. Whitaker, Connie, Eugene and others.

They also produced video stories aimed at a younger audience.

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