Kids Character Challenge

All year I try to guide my kids to be better humans, fostering kindness, compassion, justice and other qualities that will empower them to make a difference in the world.

Lot’s of parents are just like me–we’re not alone in wanting to raise our kids to have a good character!


Kids Character Challenge Average Advocate

But modeling and teaching our kids all the things can be hard to do, especially when we are already busy and overwhelmed with life.

Don’t Look at My Dusty Bookshelf!

Confession: I already have great parenting workbooks, studies, devotionals, resource guides, etc… to do with my kids to raise them to love others and live justly.

But I don’t ever do them. They sit on my bookshelf because finding the time to do them is hard.

Mediocre is Great!

One thing I’ve learned though is that my good intentions are often hijacked by my desire to do them right. And most parents I talk to get stuck on this too. As they try to raise globally conscious, kind kids who love others and care about justice we try to find the right thing and don’t start.

Here’s my secret sauce to overcoming this: Be okay with half-baked (that’s not the term I really want to use). Sometimes mediocre is actually great. Why? Because it is something. It is starting. And when it comes to parenting, something is always better than nothing.

Intentionally Focusing on Character: Love and Justice

For the first September in four years, in Fall of 2019 we started the school year not as a homeschoolers. And it was also the first year all of my kids were in school full time. It was a  bittersweet new season for the Johnston family (but now in 2020, got hijacked by COVID-19 and we are back to homeschooling). 


Elisa Teaching Parents to help their kids make a difference in the world

What do you do when your kids go back to school? Go figure: create a challenge for parents to do with their kids when their kids are with them!

One thing that is for sure, though, I do not want to give-up on teaching my kids the values and beliefs that are foundational to us. And some of these are ones I know your families share too!

If there is anything that the practice of Life Mapping has taught me, though, it is that the only way this can be done well is to be intentional about teaching them. I needed some SMART goals, a plan, and some accountability to pull this off!

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Make Your School Year or Summer Intentional!

Anyone with me? If so, for all of you other mamas, papas, caregivers and teachers out there, I challenge you to make the time you have with your kids intentional too–whether during the summer or school year!

To make this easy, I put together this totally boss weekly curriculum guide for you! You can pull up on your phone on the fly. Or it is short enough you can smack the page you’re using on your kitchen cabinet door.

(Cuz that’s where mine is going! Who are we kidding? Unless you are a magical Pinterest moms, the rest of us stick with classic Scotch tape, dirty wall, and are proud when we both download and print something!)


Logo Kids Character Challenge

I needed a way to bring these values into my home without feeling overwhelmed so I made the a School Year Character Challenge and wanted to share it with you!

*UPDATED in 2020 as simply the Kids Character Challenge*

What is the Kids Character Challenge?

Each week for 36 weeks includes two simple things:

  1. The belief in a simple repeatable value statement (think: mantra of the week)
  2. A totally doable action to make the value real

Belief + Action = Character Growth

How much time should you give to this?

  • Have your kids say the mantra with you daily
    • This should take about fifteen seconds
    • It could result in a five-minute conversation
    • Give yourself grace–saying it once is a lot more than never
  • The action of the week should take about 5-15 minutes
    • Did you forget to do it? No sweat.
    • Did you do it wrong? No sweat.
    • Give yourself grace–doing something is a lot more than nothing

I know raising conscious kids, kids¬†who¬†love others, care¬†about¬†justice, want to make a difference,¬†and¬†can¬†continue to grow¬†into¬†world changers–raising these kids isn’t always that easy. So let’s do this together! #Intentionalparentsofchangemakersunite! (Okay, that hashtag is a little too long.)

This is something else you might like to do with your kids (or college buddies!) Take these random acts of kindness ideas an be INTENTIONAL with them!

How Does the Challenge Work?

Here is your checklist to do Average Advocate’s Kids Character Challenge in your own home:

  1. Get your copy of the challenge here
  2. Print it and put it up (or put it on your virtual calendar to remind you to do it if you want to save the trees and keep it digital).
  3. Stay-up with me in Instagram or Facebook as I post how it goes with my kids there (sometimes better than others!)
  4. Find accountability too! Choose one of these ways:
    • Post about it yourself every week, and tag me (@AverageAdvocate) in it and use #JustKids so I can encourage you onward!
    • Choose to comment on my weekly post about it–less “out there” but you know we’re in it together!
    • Send this link to a friend, inviting them to do it with you!

And because #AccountabilityisBoss, we know that without it (unless we are Hermione Granger–which I am not) we’ll probably will trickle off. ¬†

Want to see an example? Check out my family’s videos in 2019 here!

Check your email and let’s start this thing! (P.S., its cool it you miss 1/2 the year too!)

Conversation is Cool

I adore conversations and want to see how you, mama (or papa), make this better. I’m just giving you a bare-bones framework! Take it an run!

Or take it and do the bare minimal and still have something to show for it! The point isn’t perfection, it is just doing our best with what we got. Even a little investment in our kids’ character goes a long way!

Good luck and let me know how it goes!

I know many of you know others who care about teaching their kids to live justly, lover mercy, love others, make a difference in the world–all that stuff!

Do you know a friend who might be into this? If so, be sure to share this link with them so they can join us!

The School Year Character Challenge to help your kids live justly and love mercy