How Do I Teach My Child Integrity

 Teaching integrity does not have to be difficult but it does have to be consistent.  Children develop the skills of integrity the most, when day in and day out they witness their parents living lives of integrity.  

This means that every day, we have the opportunity to show our children in small and simple ways how one chooses integrity, even when making the choice is difficult.

I  was in Hobby Lobby the other day (love that place), and I all of a sudden heard a crash.  I looked back and saw a woman with two young girls (maybe 8 and 10) picking up a reindeer that they apparently had knocked off the shelf.  I went on about my shopping.

Then, I turned back to go look at something and I saw this woman and the two girls again. This time, they were still dealing with the reindeer.  It looked like they were trying to put a broken antler back on the head of this reindeer but to me, it looked broken. I paid a little more attention because I was kind of intrigued about what they would do.  Sure enough, they managed to prop this antler up on the head of this reindeer and then they quietly walked away.

Ugh!!  How sad.  Now, I don't know their situation and I don't know why they chose to handle it the way they did.  It did make me a little sad however, because from the outside observer, it looked like a missed opportunity to teach children what integrity looks like.

I know when I look back on my days of mothering children at home, I missed some opportunities too.  Sometimes I think, "Why did I do that!!"  "That was so dumb of me."

The important thing for today, is to try to pay attention and realize that each day, we have numerous opportunities to teach our children integrity, compassion, empathy, non-judgement and many more such character traits.  I hope we pay closer attention and may we always know that each decision we make, has the potential to impact the kind of humans our children become.

Our children need to hear and see us be 100% accurate in our words, our stories, our actions, etc.  They need to watch us go out of our way to be honest, regardless whether or not that honesty brings about negative consequences.  However, even when being honest, we can strive to make sure that kindness precedes every honest remark. 

Today, show your children what integrity looks like.  Live it.  

Monica Irvine