Spring is finally here, and Hillside school is buzzing with excitement! It is wonderful to have many students back in school! The character trait we will focus on for Star Student this month is Integrity. Students with integrity do the right thing even if nobody is watching. Students with integrity are honest, truthful, and have a strong moral compass. Doing what is right even when it is difficult is a sign of true integrity. When integrity is taught at home from a young age, it becomes part of a child’s character. The following are some ways to grow your child’s integrity:
Articulate family values. What are your family values? Family values impact healthy child and adolescent development in profound ways. Values elicit habits of thinking and behaving that honor strengths, weaknesses and imperfections. Family values should be intentionally articulated and demonstrated to children.
Develop a moral vocabulary. Words like honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage are the core to a family's beliefs. Use them to express and reinforce your family values. Use quotes to ignite meaningful dinner conversations and encourage kids to talk about these values.
Be a role model. Children often name parents as their role models. Research shows that role models actively live their values in the world. They help children understand how values, like integrity, are part of a successful and rewarding life. Children are watching and learning from their adult role model.
Reward respectful behavior. When children feel good about doing what’s right, they learn to measure the quality of their lives beyond grades and extra-curricular achievements. When your children show integrity, tell them what you admire about their specific behavior.
Explore consequences. Learning integrity takes practice. Like all learning, failure produces consequences. When children explore, understand, and accept the consequences of failure, critical learning occurs.
Respond appropriately. Parents cannot control their child’s behavior, but they can respond with consistency to reinforce family values. Dishonest or disrespectful behavior is a teachable moment for parents. What’s most important is that your child reflects on and gains meaning from their behavior. Listen and show respect for your child’s thinking, and then restate your expectations. Consequences should be consistent and clearly understood.
If you have any questions, concerns or would like more information, please feel free to contact your child’s counselor.
Source: Roots of Action
Dr. Whalen 6TH grade & Ms. DeBlase 5th grade
Hillside School Counselors