Raising children is one of the most difficult tasks any person can undertake. It requires a great deal of thought, patience and determination.
We all want our children to be shining lights in their school, and as they grow, in their community. However, there are so many things influencing their personalities which can have a negative impact. It is important, therefore, that we help them become better, stronger individuals. After all, they are the next custodians of our population and planet, and they will need solid principles to take on this difficult role.
Integrity is one of the most important values any child, and adult, can learn.
What Is Integrity?
Integrity is being honest and having strong principles, which you adhere to every day. Having integrity means that you are authentic and truthful in your words and your actions. You don’t say one thing and do another. You obey the law, and treat others with respect.
You have integrity when you fight against hypocrisy, stand up for what you believe to be true, and defend others. How many children feel powerless when faced with bullying? How many need to be able to speak out and do the right thing.
Why Is It Important To Teach Our Children Integrity?
If a child grows and develops a strong sense of integrity they are less likely to be influenced by negative peer pressure when they become teenagers. They will resist the urge to drink, smoke or take drugs just because their friends are doing it. Instead, they will follow their dreams, play sport and engage in music and the Arts.
They will stand up for another child who is being bullied. They will be outraged when they see images of others suffering on the news, and they will accept they have a responsibility for all creatures and the planet.
How Can We Teach Them Integrity?
Teaching a child to have integrity can be done by teaching them what values are important. Now, these may change from person to person so it is important you recognize which ones are important to you. You may believe gentleness is more important than kindness, or honesty is more important than assertiveness, for example.
Regardless, having integrity is about knowing what is right. It is the king of personal values. It is about teaching children the importance of justice. All children learn what is fair from a very young age. Just try and give one a sweet, and not another then see what happens! Use this sense of justice to talk to them about honesty and truthfulness.
If a child does the wrong thing, talk to them about how they could have used integrity instead of anger or greed. If they have seen someone doing something that may cause them harm what would acting with integrity look like?
Lead by example, too. If you are not 100% honest and fair in your dealings with everyone and everything in your life, how can you expect your children to be the same? You are their mentor and guide, and they will learn a lot from you.
Most children are born with integrity. They just need us to label it, help them identify what it feels like, and teach them how to practise it each day. Having integrity will increase their self-confidence and help them feel empowered. This way they will be better classmates, friends and reliable family members. And, our children will grow to be reliable citizens who are well-equipped to look after their world.
About The Author – Susan Day
Susan Day is a children’s author and writer. Her blog, Astro’s Adventures Book Club, is full of ideas and tips for grandparents who want to build a strong relationship with their grandchildren. In particular, Susan specializes in helping grandparents share their love of books with their grandchildren. Susan is currently writing a book titled, The Top 10 Things Happy Grandparents Never Regret Doing!
Susan lives in country Australia with four dogs, three boss cats, three rescue guinea pigs, and an errant kangaroo. And, apart from blogging, writing and reading; she loves drinking coffee, painting and learning to box.