In a world full of selfies, self-aggrandizement and social media celebrating success with imagery of bling left, right and center, how do we find the balance between teaching our children to have healthy self-esteem but also an abundance of humility? As you will notice, I have used the word “teach” because you just can’t tell your kids to “be humble.” As parents you have to demonstrate it with your actions. Knowing what you value as a family and keeping your kids grounded will breed a respectful awareness of others. There are small things we can do every day that can make a huge impact.
- Be kind. People who aren’t as fortunate as you still deserve respect. After all, your value is no greater, and no less, than any other person. Being a part of your community and uplifting those around you can teach your children to have this awareness. We all make decisions in life that we must learn from and taking accountability for those choices, with acceptance, places your ego and pride to the side. Learning to do this, without expecting anything to be given in return, is a true and humbling life skill. It is a skill that can be taught by role modeling that behavior as a parent.
- Serve. Whether we help a neighbour with their groceries, serve the community by clearing a beach or a park, or offer our time and service to others, we teach our children compassion. That is, indeed, a virtue we need more of!
- Be aware of your demeanor. When you hold yourself with patience and grace, it is the complete opposite of braggadocio. Humility is laced with true modesty. This means you should also encourage and help your children to do their best. When your children have achieved through their own hard work, it gives them true confidence. And confidence will give them the strength to be humble.
There are many fine examples of people who have served for the good of others. Having your children read about them will certainly support how you teach them. At the end of the day, humility is the brother of gratitude. People who are humble could be boastful but they choose not to be.