Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Raising a Child With Integrity

December 18th, 2015     By Boys Town Contributor

Family, Parenting Skills

You have many jobs as a parent. You must keep your children safe from harm. You must clothe, feed and shelter them. You must see to their education and their health. You must nurture and support them as they grow, both physically and mentally. And you must teach them – both by example and by instruction – the many virtues that make up the notion of integrity.

So what is integrity? It’s a combination of many things: honesty, empathy, compassion, fairness… traits that identify a person as someone who can be trusted and counted upon. Another word would for it would be character. A person who exhibits integrity and character is more apt to be liked and respected by others. Down the road, that means a better job, a better spouse and a better life in general. Which is why it is so crucial to instill it in your children early on.

So how does one go about raising a child with integrity?

The most important way is by setting a good example. Children are like sponges, soaking up everything around them, both good and bad. So before you set about teaching your kids integrity, you first need to take a good, long look in the proverbial mirror and ask yourself if you exhibit it.

For instance, when a clerk gives you back more change than you deserve, do you say something to him, or do you remain quiet and consider his mistake your good fortune? What may seem like a harmless little windfall can teach your child that, in effect, stealing is ok in certain situations.

Or maybe you’re have a serving of cheesecake after a large dinner, protesting, “Well, I really shouldn’t, but it’s just one small piece.” In this instance, you’re teaching your child that greed is sometimes justified.

So you can see, as a parent, you are the most important factor in your child becoming an adult of character and virtue. As the famous anti-pot commercial says, “I learned it by watching you!” Cheesy though it may seem, that commercial is right; your kids really do learn by watching you.

But you are not the only factor. In addition to teaching your children integrity and character by modeling it for them, you can also teach them through instruction, using activities and lessons that can help them understand not only the meaning of certain traits but also their benefits – both to themselves and to others.

For a list of such activities, check out our 12 Days of Integrity challenge. It was developed by the parenting experts at Boys Town and provides a list of simple, easy-to-follow activities that can help your kids become better people.

In the end, integrity is a major component in what makes a person good. In fact, it’s impossible to be good without it. And what parent doesn’t want to raise a child who’s good?

Related Posts

 

 

Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | 5 tips to help parents learn how to talk to their childrenhttps://www.boystown.org/blog/Pages/5-tips-to-help-parents-learn-how-to-talk-to-their-children.aspxBoys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | 5 tips to help parents learn how to talk to their childrenGood communication with children helps them develop the building blocks for language development. It also improves your bond and encourages them to talk with and listen to you.July 19th, 2019Parenting AdviceGood communication with children helps them develop the building blocks for language development. It also improves your bond and encourages them to talk with and listen to you.Amy Tyler-Krings, research assistant in the Infant Language Development Laboratory for the Boys Town National Research Hospital.
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Charging 10-year-old as adult in death of infant is not only wrong but damaginghttps://www.boystown.org/blog/Pages/Charging-10-year-old-as-adult-in-death-of-infant-is-not-only-wrong-but-damaging.aspxBoys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Charging 10-year-old as adult in death of infant is not only wrong but damagingTrauma or mental illness can lead children to do things that their developing brains can’t fully comprehend. Modern brain science reveals definitively that a child is different from an adult and should be treated as such.June 18th, 2019FeaturedTrauma or mental illness can lead children to do things that their developing brains can’t fully comprehend. Modern brain science reveals definitively that a child is different from an adult and should be treated as such.Steven Boes, Boys Town Executive Director
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Mother Shares Story of Struggle, Regaining Hope at Recent Boys Town Eventhttps://www.boystown.org/blog/Pages/Mother-Shares-Story-of-Struggle-Regaining-Hope-at-Recent-Boys-Town-Event.aspxBoys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Mother Shares Story of Struggle, Regaining Hope at Recent Boys Town EventEach year, at the annual weighing-in event for the Boys Town Iowa Healthy Families Drive, we ask someone who is receiving Boys Town Iowa In-Home Family Services to describe how their family has been impacted.June 4th, 2019Parenting AdviceEach year, at the annual weighing-in event for the Boys Town Iowa Healthy Families Drive, we ask someone who is receiving Boys Town Iowa In-Home Family Services to describe how their family has been impacted.Candace, Iowa Mother Receiving Boys Town’s In-Home Family Services