Have Integrity?

Posted: September 2, 2014 in World On The Edge

living-our-values-dailyGood values create virtues, which are the content of our character, and the essence of our  human spirit.  I’ve listed the virtues before–according to the ancient Greeks like Plato who came up with four:  Courage, Temperance, Prudence, and Justice.  To these, Christianity added Faith, Hope and Love. And so we have seven cardinal virtues .

Truly great men and women are virtuous men and women.   Don’t we want our children to be the same?

Except in today’s society academic achievement and performance are often put ahead of character building . We often appear more engrossed in  grades, sports, and other extracurricular activities,  rather than imbuing positive values in our children, which will build their character, enabling them to make the right choices in their future lives.

So how do we instill values and virtues in our children?

An obvious answer–because children mostly follow their parents– is to be examples of virtue ourselves. Children don’t learn the values that make up good character simply by being told about them. They learn instead through observing and then emulating what other people are doing and acting out around them.  Parental modeling is the best way.

According to most experts, a child’s character must begin at a very young  age. In preschool age,  children can be shaped and guided to learn about what is right and what is wrong, and to learn to live a value-filled life. They can easily absorb and emulate what they see and hear from the adults in their surroundings.

Every day offers countless opportunities for children to emulate what their parents say and do in upholding the values they are teaching their children.How parents do and accomplish daily routines can show children every value in this life. They can set examples of courteous acts to children like respecting people with different cultures, religions and races, valuing honesty and showing compassion and care when others are grieving.

A note of caution, however, needs a mention here. Consistency in upholding values as demonstrated in what parents say and do every day is important and shouldn’t be overlooked. Parents may teach the importance of valuing honesty, yet never keep their word when they promised children something, like having a picnic on a weekend. They may tell children the value of fairness, yet treat other family members unequally.

If parents do this, their children are likely to emulate and eventually develop these attitudes as well. Reinforcing positive values can also be done through something that captures a child’s interest. Fiction and nonfiction books, folk tales, poems, plays and television shows are some resources that may draw a child’s attention.

These resources can exert a considerable influence in building kids’ character both negatively and positively. However, with parental guidance and a careful selection of children’s literature and TV programs, parents can direct their children to be critical in discerning what is good and what is bad for them.” — Evaries Rosita, Contributor, Jakarta Post


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