5 Ways to Build Integrity
Each month, Stepping Stone School educators implement our Kindness & 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 following through with what you say you will do, doing what is morally right no matter who is watching and demonstrating consistency in both your words and actions.
The following are ideas to support teaching this important skill at home:
- Establish Positive Habits
Much of integrity is the sum of repeated positive daily habits. Consistently doing positive actions leads to positive outcomes for your daily life. To teach children this skill, help them form daily habits surrounding those behaviors you desire to see in their life. When those behaviors become habitual, then the person no longer thinks about how to respond in a given situation – they do it because it is a habit.
- Boost Empathy
By promoting empathy, children are more likely to recognize and halt harsh behavior and treatment of others. As parents, help children see what they have in common with other children. Role play to promote empathy by asking a child to reverse roles and act out the problem from both sides which encourages your child to think about how others would feel in each situation.
- Know What You Stand For
Parents who clearly identify their beliefs, are more likely to raise “good kids” according to educational psychologist Michele Borbo. She states that parents should create a list of virtues for themselves in order to create a personal moral code by which they can guide and teach their children.
- Walk Your Talk
When your children watch you living a life of integrity, they recognize the value of integrity and are more likely to strive towards living in this way. Sometimes posting a family mission statement solidifying your goals as a family can help everyone in the family strive toward self-improvement and growth.
- 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. Essentially, if you say you will do something, follow-through and do it.
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/
Liveyourtruestory.com (n.d.). How to Live with Integrity with 4 Simple Habits. Retrieved from https://www.liveyourtruestory.com/how-to-live-with-integrity-with-4-simple-habits-meaningful/
Merrill, M. (2013). “How to Teach Integrity to Your Kids.” Retrieved from http://www.markmerrill.com/how-to-teach-integrity-to-your-kids/
Meyers, S. (6, April 2015). 7 Signs of People with Integrity. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/insight-is-2020/201504/7-signs-people-integrity
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