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Teaching Humility: the way to a happier child

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Teaching Humility: the way to a happier child

written by: David A. Kahn, Ph. D, LPC/LPCS

Children who learn humility have an advantage. It is an essential virtue for living a happy,
wholesome life. But humility is often misunderstood. It is not timidity or lack of self-esteem. It
is not shyness. Humility is recognizing and accepting your gifts and being grateful for them.
Humility is respect both for self and others. It blocks arrogance and self-centeredness and
focuses on others in a healthy, balanced way. A humble person recognizes his own strengths
and weaknesses, acknowledges the strengths of others, and does not judge them f or their
weaknesses. But how can parents teach humility to their children? The best way is to focus on
real life example that guide your child to behave in humble ways. When they play with others
teach them to respect the wishes of their friends or siblings by allowing others to pick the game or lead the play. If your child plays team sports, discuss the importance of winning with grace by not putting down the losing team and pointing out that each win is a team effort. Teach children to accept defeat gracefully by congratulating the other team. Teach them to respect authority by listening to elders and following directives quickly. When adults enter a room, have them stand up and offer their seats. Greet adults by name, look them in the eye, and shake hands. Help them build empathy by listening to others. Guide them to reflect what it would feel like if they experience similar situations. Modeling humility is probably the best way to teach your children. When we adults treat others with respect, use effective listening skills with our children and friends, and avoid emphasizing success, or perfection, at all costs we model humility and better achieve our own sense of peaceful, well-rounded living.

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