Growing Up Well: Supporting Your Three-Year-Old's Character Development

Who do we want our children to become? Parents approach their work from diverse perspectives and cultural traditions. But on this question, there is widespread agreement: we want our kids to become responsible, hardworking and compassionate. In other words, we want them to have good character. Character development is about building good habits, and habits take time to form. Our character is always a work in progress! We may not know what the world will look like when our children become adults, but we know that virtues will help them flourish in any circumstance.

Courage

Courage involves making good choices in the face of fear or obstacles. It's another word for bravery. Remember: Bravery doesn't mean fearlessness. It means we do not let fear hold us back from exploring new opportunities, developing our skills and doing what is right.

Learn More

Resilience

Grit involves sticking with something until you succeed. It gives us the strength to try, try, try again. Grit supports a "growth mindset" — a belief that our intelligence and skills can grow with effort. Kids with a growth mindset thrive on challenges, show resilience in the face of obstacles, and view failure as part of the learning process.

Learn More

Gratitude

Gratitude involves both feeling and expressing our thankfulness; it means we show our appreciation for others. According to the Harvard Healthbeat, "Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships."

Learn More

Build Good Character Skills with Daniel Tiger

Through imagination, creativity and music, Daniel and his friends learn the key skills necessary for school and for life, using strategies grounded in the teachings of Mister Rogers.

Find Activities

Explore our Age-by-Age Guide: