How do you teach your child to choose between right and wrong? Here are a few tips to help you inculcate integrity in your child.
By Amrita Gracias
The recent ball tampering controversy by Australian cricketers has got us all thinking about values like honesty and integrity. What lessons do our children take away from unfortunate incidents like these?
We live in a society where values and dispositions don’t always exemplify integrity. As parents, we are not in a position to prevent our children from being exposed to the many social ills and vices that exist, but we can teach and instil in them the quality of integrity.
But, before we begin learning how to instil integrity, let’s understand what integrity means.
Integrity refers to the quality of having strong moral principles or beliefs which includes virtues such as honesty, compassion, responsibility, patience and character. It shapes our understanding of right and wrong, and good and evil.
Integrity is one of the cardinal qualities that positively influences a child's character and behaviour. Here is how instilling integrity positively impacts a child:
“Inculcating integrity in children has many benefits. Although the learning begins in early childhood, this character strength develops through the growing years. The value of integrity is formed through various building blocks – their life experiences”, says Ms Arundhati Swamy. She further says, “In the growing years, integrity helps children with self-regulation, especially when they are prone to temptations such as breaking rules or lying their way through a tough situation. It gives them the resilience to withstand the pressures of adult life. Integrity also helps build dependability and reliability, trustworthiness and sincerity – qualities that are highly valued in personal relationships and work ethics. People of integrity are highly valued in jobs that require handling sensitive information, top-level decisions.”
6 – 10 years
11 – 14 years
In the later stages of adolescence, your teen is likely to come face-to-face with more and more situations that challenge his moral convictions. Show him ways to assert himself and stand up for what is morally right, and not bow down to pressure and compromise with his ideals. At the same time, teach him how to convince others to behave with integrity.
Integrity defines our character and beliefs. And, nothing makes you feel better than knowledge of the fact that you have made a choice that is morally right. So, help your child imbibe the invaluable trait of integrity that will help him lead a better life.
Arundhati Swamy is a counsellor and the Head of Parent Engagement Programs at ParentCircle.
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