6 Virtues to Model for Your Child

You are your child’s first teacher and will impart impactful and lasting messages that influence his or her growth. Set a good example for your children so they may grow into successful, fulfilled, and conscientious adults. Here is a list of important traits that you can model for your children:

Generosity and Community Involvement

The idea of giving back is one that often goes unexplored when your own life is hectic and has many moving parts. Slow down and take the time to think about how you can give back to your community and be generous with your time and available resources. Community engagement and philanthropic work will look different for every family, depending on where you live, your income, your talents, and your passions. For example, you can volunteer to support non-profit fundraising events, like serving as a water-station monitor for a run that donates its proceeds to a worthy cause. You could also donate money to individuals who serve the community and try to make society a better place. Show your kids that it’s worthwhile to reflect on how you can help those around you and become a contributing member of your community.

Work Ethic

Work ethic begins with the right mindset. Show your child that hard work is rewarding and requires you to think with a growth mindset. For example, you and your child should try to learn something together, like mechanics, ceramic-making, or another artisan skill. When the learning becomes tricky or if a mistake is made, explain to your child that messing up is part of the process and helps grow your understanding of the task. Show them that working hard to achieve the end result takes dedication and persistence.

Fulfilling Career

Your kid will be greatly influenced by your attitude and relationship with your career. Make sure your job offers you a balanced lifestyle and doesn’t cause you too much frustration. A career that allows you to be flexible in your hours and engage in entrepreneurial work will be a positive thing for your kid to see. Through companies like Amway, you can set your schedule to accommodate your busy life and have time to engage with your family. Making money with Amway will show your children how they can take initiative to start their own business and take their career into their own hands.

Respect

Respect can look different in many cultures and depends on the situation that you’re in. Talk to your child about what respect looks at home, in the classroom, in restaurants, with adults, and with his or her peers. Practice code-switching and acting with respect through role play at home. Additionally, model respect toward others by listening when others are speaking, acting kind, giving people grace when they make mistakes, accepting others’ differences, and never speaking poorly about people when they aren’t around. Your child will quickly pick up on your family’s cultural norms around respect and will display the same dispositions. Child Ventures offers additional ideas about why it’s important to teach your kid about the virtue of respect and how to do it.

Morals

You want your child to know the difference between right and wrong. Show them how they can be loving, kind, conscientious, honest, trustworthy and giving. If you notice that your child isn’t acting with integrity or displaying the aforementioned virtues, know that he or she is developing his or her capacity to regulate and reflect on behaviors. Psychology Today offers parents insight on child development of morals: “Around the age of five or six, children have developed a conscience—which is actually an internalized set of rules that you have taught them. Your regulations become her inner stop sign and will direct her. (Though it may be hard for you to believe, someday she’ll actually throw those dirty socks in the hamper.) Initially, she adopts your rules to please you. Later on, following these directives becomes a part of who she is.”

Social Emotional Literacy

Social-emotional learning is gaining a larger presence in schools; however, awareness and mindfulness should be modeled at home as well. When you become emotional—angry, sad, happy, energized, frustrated—engage in a dialogue with your child about why your feeling these emotions and your strategies for processing them. Explain to your kid that some emotions and ways of being are important for different activities. For example, high energy and aggression can fuel football players to perform well, and sadness can be important to identify what moves you and what is important to you. The ability to recognize emotions and regulate behaviors will help your child succeed in many realms of his or her life, from personal relationships to academic environments.

Think about the virtues that are most important to you and consider how you can model those for your children. Your lead will help them shape their own set of values and establish habitual behaviors. When you are your best self, your child will strive to do so as well.

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