Teach kids three fundamental characteristics of integrity and you’ll inoculate them from many of the problems that plague and cripple many people. These three basic, powerful traits of morality must be taught by example and not lip service. We can talk to children all day long, but if they see us doing the exact opposite of what we tell them to do, We are living a lie. To make the lessons even more influential surround them with people who show the qualities listed— schools, church and childcare providers come to mind. It’s paramount to expose kids to positive people early in life when we can control their environment. As they get older, we will have less control. These experiences help children build a strong foundation. Teach children the following traits and they will thank you later.
Being truthful is vital. If you tell the truth, it’s not hard to remember what you said. The old saying is true; one lie always leads to another lie to cover for the first one. You need to present the facts as they are, to the best of your knowledge and not purposefully leave out things or tell half-truths. It also means playing by the rules and not cheating.
People must respect each other for society to work. We may not always agree with what another person thinks, but everyone has a right to his own opinion as long as it doesn’t interfere with someone else. We can’t force someone to come around to our way of thinking. God loves us all and doesn’t play favorites. Men have fought many wars, exploited and tried to murder whole races of people because they thought they were God’s favorite. It would take several books to talk about that subject, and it’s not the purpose of this blog, so I’ll move on. If I get my kids to remember “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” then I will have been successful. We must accept others beliefs and differences without prejudice and judge them only on their character.
As you go through life, you will have many choices. We are not perfect, and sometimes we make a wrong decision. It is much easier for a ship to get back on course if the Captain admits he’s going in the wrong direction. Someone once said, “it doesn’t do any good to row harder if the boat is going in the wrong direction.” We must take responsibility for our decisions and be accountable for them and never, ever blame others for our mistakes. Blaming others and dodging responsibility when things don’t go as planned is a major character flaw. A responsible person is not a victim, and they always do their best.
Okay, there you have it, just a short list of some qualities I want my kids to have. So far the kids are doing good and are on the right track. See you next time!