It’s a matter of Integrity…
This morning a parent told me, “I was so surprised… my children (almost 5 and 3) got themselves dressed, made their beds, and brushed their teeth without me asking them!”
I told her their actions demonstrate that she is consistent in her expectations and she has established good routines in their home.
I heard her repeat those words to herself as she headed out the door, “consistent expectations and good routines.”
Each month, we at Stepping Stone School focus specific activities to teach character development through our Kindness and Empathy™ curriculum which is a part of our Platinum Learning for Life™ curriculum. Each of these activities are focused around a specific character trait.
Our focus for the month of October is integrity – following through with what you say you will do, doing what is expected of you no matter who is watching, demonstrating consistency in both your words and actions.
This parent is teaching her children integrity through consistent daily expectations.
What else can one do to teach his or her child integrity?
- Know What You Stand For
Dr. Michele Borba, educational psychologist and award winning author, suggests parents who clearly identify their beliefs, are more likely to raise “good kids.” She goes on to say that parents should create a list of virtues or moral beliefs for themselves in order to create a kind of personal moral code by which they can guide and teach their children. (Borbo, 2015)
- Walk Your Talk
Think about how your children perceive your actions. Would they be able to identify your moral code by the behaviors and habits they observe in your life on a daily basis? When children see others living a life of integrity, they recognize the value of integrity and are more likely to strive towards living in this way.
- 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 their moral development, encourage your child to think about how others would feel in a given situation. Role play to promote empathy by asking a child to reverse roles and act out the problem from both sides. (Borbo, 2015)
As a parent, we must keep in mind that our children are watching our every action. If we want them to become people of integrity, we must model for them a life of integrity by knowing what you believe, living what you believe, and relating to others through these beliefs. This will take years of consistent expectations and good routines.
Borbo, M. (2015). “Seven Ways to Build Strong Character and Integrity in Children.” Retrieved on September 21, 2015 from http://micheleborba.com/blog/seven-tips-to-build-strong-character-and-help-kids-stand-up-for-their-moral-beliefs/