Humility is something that is lacking in the world today. So many people have over-inflated egos and are full of undeserved over-confidence. It stands to question whether it’s a result of upbringing or a behavior that was learned in adulthood. Humility is a trait that all children should learn.
The dictionary’s definition of humility is one that doesn’t truly reflect the complexity of the word. Being humble does not imply that one thinks poorly of themselves. The act of being humble is a representation of the complete opposite. Here are ten tips on how to teach a child to be humble.
10 Lead by example
Children will always look to their parents as their first teachers. Leading by example is the best way to teach a child anything. Being humble isn’t a habit, it's a behavior that you want to portray to your child on a constant basis.
There should never be a time when humility should be a choice. Any behavior that a parent wants their child to pick up on should be one that the parent embodies. Some life lessons are best taught at home. No one can pass views and values on to a child better than their parent’s can. Lead the way.
9 Teach That There Is Strength In Humility
As previously mentioned, the definition of humility does the word no justice. It imparts a vision of weakness and shame. It's important to teach a child that in order to be humble, one must possess a special kind of inner strength. Humility comes from a position of faith and strongly believing in something.
Build the child up so that they understand this concept. They are sure to come to a place in life, at some point, where their humility will be viewed as meekness. Setting a foundation that assures them otherwise will give them the ability to never waiver from their stance.
8 Be Their Motivation
Consistently inspire children to be and do their best. No matter what it is that they are doing. It's easier for a child to be humble when they feel like they have accomplished something good.
Assist children in reaching their goals with conviction. A positive and supportive parent can be the boost that a child needs to reach their full potential. Children that are raised in a positive and encouraging environment often find it easy to be encouraging to their peers. In addition, children raised in this type of environment are less susceptible to peer pressure and more likely to do the right thing when under pressure.
7 Ensure That They Know What To Value
Today’s society and pop culture place value on so many of the wrong things. Appearances, belongings, and accomplishments seem to be how the world bases the worth of a person.
It's easier to avoid the traps of egotism and conceit when a child is taught from a young age that they are worthy merely because they exist. It's important that they don’t equate self-worth with physical beauty, what they’ve done, or what they have. At any given moment those things can change and all they’ll have left to base their worth on is the type of person that they are.
6 Children Should Never Be Shamed
Humility cannot be taught through humiliation. Embarrassment, bullying and degrading a child only stands to undermine the very lesson that is trying to be taught. This will result in lowering the child’s self-esteem and self-worth. The consequences can be detrimental. Children have enough to deal with on the outside and from other people.
Home and family should be a safe haven. Refrain from making fun of children about sensitive issues, especially in front of other people. It inadvertently gives others the impression that they can do the same thing. This can be very damaging to a child’s perception of themselves.
5 Teach Children About Historical Figures
History is full of figures who embodied humility. There are many stories that can be shared with children that are perfect examples of what being humble is. From religious to political figures to celebrities, there is proof of the strength it takes to be and remain humble.
It can be hard for children to feel like they can relate to their parents. Finding someone that they look up to and can relate to can help make the job a lot easier. Knowing that an “important” person stood by their beliefs, even amid negativity, will teach children that inner strength makes a big difference.
4 There Is Humility In Service
Sometimes going a little further is the key. There is also another epidemic among children today called the lack of appreciation. Showing how different life could be is another great tool that can be used to teach a child to be humble.
Teaching children to serve others will help them appreciate the things that they have and not take them for granted. Impart the importance of serving those that are less fortunate and why it’s important to give back and help from a genuine place. This isn’t something that should be forced on a child but some creative motivation can be used to persuade them.
3 Manners, Manners, Manners!
It is disheartening to see children that don’t say “thank you,” “please” or “you’re welcome.” Today’s youth don’t even know how to properly address their elders. Manners have to be taught just as persistently as daily hygiene practices.
A child isn’t born knowing how to do certain things, they shouldn’t be expected to innately know how to respond to acts of kindness. It's important that they understand how to show gratitude and genuine appreciation for people. These are characteristics that will last a lifetime. So many adults today lack these characteristics because they weren’t taught to them properly as children. Be consistent and persistent.
2 Teach Them To Apologize
A genuine apology can go a long way. It’s important that children know when they are wrong and are taught to accept responsibility for their actions and behaviors. Even if the offense wasn’t intended, accountability is a vital aspect of humility. Break the habit of saying, “I’m sorry.” There is power in words.
Although something wrong may have taken place, it's never too early to learn to refrain from using self-deprecating terminology. Also, the phrase “I’m sorry” almost sounds selfish because there is no mention of the other person. Saying, “I apologize to you for…” is more indicative of it being about the person that was offended.
1 Teach Gratefulness
Being able to show graciousness is another important component of humility. It's a sign of modesty and appreciation. Thank your child every time the opportunity arises. As they witness the act, it will become a habit for them. An act of gratitude can speak volumes about and to a person, especially when it is from the heart.
This is another characteristic that children should see portrayed by their parents. Remember, that a child’s first role models are the adults that they are surrounded with at home, on a constant basis. What they are taught as children will mold the adults that they grow up to be.