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How to teach integrity to children

 

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Honesty seems to be a rare find nowadays.

 

Along the same line, another dwindling commodity is honesty to one’s self, otherwise known as integrity. Restoring integrity and keeping it intact deserves your undivided attention.

 

Charity begins at home; so does integrity.

 

Values such as honesty and integrity must be taught to children. At an early stage, children easily absorb lessons from family members. Children take these lessons with them until they grow up and become exposed to the real world. If you’re a parent, it is your role to prepare your children and to help them cope up with life challenges.

Day to day activities provide learning opportunities for both parents and children. Your role is to make these learning opportunities enjoyable so children can easily imbibe the said values. Here are some simple steps:

 

1. Know the reason why you want to teach values to your children. Other parents do it for their children. Others want to raise well-adjusted and socially responsible kids. Find your own reason.

 

When integrity is on top of your children’s list, they become more responsible and accountable for their actions. Provide your children with guidelines and parameters on how they should relate with people around them. Actions of your children reflect back to you. As a parent, you are the reflection of the image of your children.

 

2. Teach them responsibility at an early age. Parents always ask: “When is it the right age to teach responsibility?” When they begin to learn to walk and recognize words, the time is ideal.

 

Assign simple tasks and responsibilities and keep them varied to make the learning experience exciting. Children will feel good as they will feel a sense of accomplishment.

 

3. As your children mature and reach puberty, assign regular chores. Do not do things for them, especially those that they can do themselves. For example, have a regular schedule for them to clean up their rooms. Help them become self-sufficient, self-reliant, and independent.

 

Some parents delay teaching independence, for they misinterpret independence as uncontrolled freedom. Others fear that children will turn out to be too independent and they will find themselves shut off from their children’s lives.

 

It is during the teenage years that you can introduce the good points of being independent. Imbue in them the beauty of independence by making integrity your focal point of discussion. Patiently explain that parents grant their children freedom to pursue their passions simply because parents trust them.

 

4. Teach the kids to have respect and high regard of other people’s rights and welfare. Tell them to treat others in a respectful and gracious manner. Educate them on the need to be tolerant of other people’s choices, cultures, and ways of life.

 

5. Enlighten them with concepts about responsibility. With authority, comes responsibility. Many people hold on to authority and totally neglect their responsibilities. Be sure to impart this to your children as they reach the age of reason.

 

6. Exemplify what you teach. Self-help gurus call this “Walk the Talk.” Children emulate their parents. Children need models; and who can become better models than their immediate family members?

If you want them to grow up as honest and responsible citizens, become one yourself. A simple thing like keeping your own room tidy at all times will set an example for your children to do the same.

In all of this, parents should be reminded of what Robin Sharma wrote in his book Family Wisdom: “You are setting an example everyday in all you do, for the little child who’s waiting, to grow up to be like you.”

 

About The Author / Credits: By: Jeff Cohen published in SolveYourProblem.com : 2006

 

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