TIP 2. Be a strong moral role model and mentor.
Children learn ethical values and behaviors by watching our actions and the actions of other adults they respect. Children will listen to our teaching when we walk the talk.
Pay close attention to whether you are practicing honesty, fairness, and caring yourself and modeling skills like solving conflicts peacefully and managing anger and other difficult emotions effectively. But, nobody is perfect all the time. That is why it’s important for us, in fact, to model for children humility, self-awareness, and honesty by acknowledging and working on our mistakes and flaws. It‘s also important for us to recognize what might be getting in the way of our own caring. Are we, for example, exhausted or stressed? Does our child push our buttons in a specific way that makes caring for her or him hard at times? And remember, children will only want to become like us if they trust and respect us. Adults can reflect on whether our children respect us and, if we think they don’t, consider why, and how we might repair the relationship.
Service. Regularly engage in community service or model other ways of contributing to a community. Even better, consider doing this with your child.
Honesty and humility. Talk with your child when you make a mistake that affects them about why you think you made it, apologize for the mistake, and explain how you plan to avoid making the mistake next time.
Check-in with others. Reflect and consult with people you trust when you’re finding it hard to be caring or to model important ethical qualities like fairness.
Take care of yourself. Whether it’s spending time with a friend, going for a walk, praying or meditating, try to make time to relieve your stress both because it’s important for you and because it will enable you to be more attentive to and caring with others.