Each month, Stepping Stone School educators implement our Kindness and Empathy™ curriculum which provides activities with the purpose of teaching character development as a part of our Platinum Learning for Life™curriculum.
During the month of October, our activities are focused on the character trait of integrity. Integrity is described as consistency in both words and actions while following a strong moral compass.
Dr. Michele Borba, an educational psychologist and authority on child development, gives thought to integrity and raising children:
Parents with clearly identified moral convictions are more likely to raise good kids… One great question to ask yourself each day is: “If I were the only example my child had to learn moral habits, what did she learn today from watching me?” … By watching your choices and hearing your casual comments, kids learn your moral standards. (Borbo, 2015)
To teach integrity to children:
- Know What You Stand For
Dr. Borba goes on to suggest parents create a list of which virtues and moral beliefs matter most. After creating the list, narrow it down to the top three. Those three qualities become a personal moral code by which a person can guide and teach her children. (Borbo, 2015)
- Let Your Word Stand
Follow-through is a baseline measure of integrity. Whether it is reading a promised story later that evening or delivering on a consequence for inappropriate behavior, follow-through is integrity in action. (O’Donohue, 2012)
- Boost Empathy
Children with strong moral beliefs are more likely to take a stand for their beliefs. By promoting empathy, children are more likely to recognize and halt harsh behavior and treatment of others. As parents, ask questions to stretch your child’s moral development by encouraging her to think about how others would feel in a given situation. Role play to promote empathy by asking your child to reverse roles and act out the problem from both sides. (Borbo, 2015)
Integrity, like other character traits, takes time to develop. Year after year of following through instills a set of moral beliefs and virtues which guide a child and become a compass by which he or she can live life.
Borbo, M. (2015). “Seven Ways to Build Strong Character and Integrity in Children.” Retrieved from http://micheleborba.com/blog/seven-tips-to-build-strong-character-and-help-kids-stand-up-for-their-moral-beliefs/
Merrill, M. (2013). “How to Teach Integrity to Your Kids.” Retrieved from http://www.markmerrill.com/how-to-teach-integrity-to-your-kids/
O’Donohue, M. (2012). “Teaching Children to Have Integrity.” Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/parents/experts/archive/2013/01/teaching-children-to-have-inte.html