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
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.”