3 Ways to Begin Teaching Your Kids to Have Integrity

I was raised to know the difference between right and wrong, what integrity was, and to become someone with integrity and morals to back it up. My parents taught me to be truthful in what I say and that honesty was absolutely necessary no matter what. If you screwed up, own it and be personally accountable for your actions and to not hide from it. To have strong moral values for myself and how I treat others. My mother would always tell me, “treat others the same as you would want to be treated yourself.” How I conducted myself,  to have good work ethic at home, school, and work/chores, and my interactions with others. Being someone with integrity shows others that you are trustworthy, sincere, fair, and firm in who you are. By adopting these traits you build confidence and develop character by staying true to yourself as you move through life following your basic values and principles. My intent is to help my daughter become a strong woman with integrity and be someone that has strong moral values and character, to know the difference between right and wrong and to follow her conscience.

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Integrity is About Who You Are: It is within you, drives you to stand up for your beliefs and personal values to the decisions you make on a daily basis. It is who are you on the inside and something that will continually develop as you age. Don’t lie, steal and cheat, instead be someone who is trustworthy. Treat everyone with kindness and be someone that you are proud to be. Having integrity is how you conduct yourself and your whole way of being from your thoughts to your actions. Ask yourself “what is your conscience telling you?”

Teach Values and be Respectful of Others: For me this lesson began with honoring my mother and father and following the rules, principles, and values they had established for me. My parents instilled in me values that will stay with me for the rest of my life. They led by example through their words and actions, showing what was expected of me while I was “living under their roof,” and would hopefully emulate and take with me after I had left the home. They did their best to teach me to treat others with respect even if I may disagree with them, to not judge or be judgmental of someone different than me, to be courteous and kind, and to listen, but hold steadfast in who you are. Learn to apologize and say you’re sorry, be humble, and remember to say please and thank you. Have empathy and understanding for others.

To Have Courage: Stand up for what you believe in and help others in need. To do your best to do the right thing even when it may be difficult or challenging to do so, no matter the consequences. Through practice, confidence will grow and be easier to lead your life with conviction. When you say you will do something, do it, and with a happy heart. Learn to say no and make it clear if a situation arises where you are being pressured to act in a way not in line with your value and character. Don’t make promises you can’t keep, saying no is ok and most people will be understanding.

There is a lot more to having integrity than this, but its a start. I encourage you to reflect and always lead your life with integrity.

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