Character for Kids: What Is Integrity and Why Is It Important
Having a strong character carries over in many different areas in your life. It’ll give you a good foundation to build good friendships, help direct you when making decisions, and give you more opportunities in life. People will see you as a leader and as someone that they want to be associated with. Building character in kids is especially important because it instills a sense of integrity in them as they grow.
What Is Integrity?
Integrity is doing the right thing even when it’s hard or when no one is looking. Many people only do what they are supposed to because they know that an authority figure is watching. If someone is watching them, then they do what they are supposed to only because they don’t want to get in trouble. That’s not sincere. It’s not in their heart to be honest because they are doing it out of fear of the consequences. True integrity is abiding by the rules because you know that it’s the right thing to do.
How Do You Display It
The first step to integrity is to know the rules or laws. Know what is expected of you and others so you know how to act. Some simple rules are things like don’t steal, don’t hit, and don’t lie. Those are some big overarching rules that everyone should abide by. In everything that you do, first ask yourself—am I breaking a rule?
You can even have smaller rules like how to play a board game. It’s not fun to play a game with someone who doesn’t follow the rules.
It also applies when you see someone else breaking a rule. If someone is bullying another person, then you know that they aren’t doing what they are supposed to. We are supposed to treat others how we want to be treated. If you stand by and say nothing, then you are guilty by association. You let it happen without speaking up, which is basically the same as bullying yourself. Stand tall for yourself, as well as others, regardless of who is watching.
Why Is It Important
Having integrity shows people what your heart is really like. Do you do things for the approval of others, or do you do things because you have a strong character? If you have a strong character, then people know that they can trust you. That’s important for any and every relationship you have. If you have a friend who you know lies to other people, then you can also assume that they lie to you. If someone talks about others behind their back, then you know that they talk about you behind your back too. They are only acting one way because someone is watching. No one wants to have a friend like that. If your parents trust you, then you’ll be given more freedom to do the things that you want to. Trust is a hard thing to earn, but by doing what’s right at all times, you’ll have trust with everyone around you.
Integrity can be difficult, but after you practice it, it’ll become easier and easier. Share your knowledge of integrity and teach the importance of having integrity to your friends so that they can be better friends. Always stand up for what is right, no matter how hard it is or who is watching.