Today’s headlines seem to be filled with examples of public officials, sports professionals and celebrities making “poor choices,” being less than adequate roll models for us and our children. It feels, at times, that honesty and integrity are a thing of the past – an antique notion. Yet, I know that parents do consider them a moral lesson they wish to pass on to their children. At La Junta, these are some the “old-fashioned” values we like to promote – whether in the daily classes, Ranch games, Black Eagle activities, or just cabin life in general.
In our planning for next summer, we came across this article, by Marilyn Price-Mitchell, PhD, which offers some teaching suggestions for all of us:
- Articulate family values. Discuss at the dinner or breakfast table or other family times (driving to school events or religious functions, for example, offers a captive audience).
- Develop a moral vocabulary. Use words of value on a regular basis: honesty, integrity, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility and courage.
- Reward honest behavior. Tell your children how much you admire their honesty and courage, giving praise and rewards of time value.
- Explore consequences. Teach your children what benefits arise from a life of integrity – how it grows character and creates relationships of trust.
- Respond appropriately and consistently (and swiftly). Don’t shy away from teachable moments (take courage, yourself)!
- Be a role model. Sometimes a difficult task for all of us, but a MUST in all situations, even the smallest ones.
- Teach digital etiquette – social networking to cell phones and everything in between. Please don’t assume your kids know or are getting this info from school.
- Share meaningful stories. Offer discussion after books, TV shows (even the evening news) or movies.
- Instill self-efficacy. Teach your children to trust their moral compasses – praising them for who they are, as human beings, not what they achieve. Remind yourself how important this is to life, so that it emanates from you, yourself.
Please click here to read Dr. Price-Mitchell’s full article and find other resources on raising children with healthy values. We promise to back you up during camp with programming and lessons, plus the added benefit of the Great Outdoors!