Humility is a virtue that welcomes other virtues. Humility invites forgiveness, receives patience, goes along with obedience, walks with honesty and many more.
According to Thomas Aquinas Humility is looking at ourselves with all honesty and without excuses while St. Therese of Avila defines it as walking in the truth. In contrast, pride is walking in falsehood.
According to dictionary.com humility is having modest opinion or estimate of one’s own importance, rank etc. It is not bragging of one’s talent, skill, intelligence or value neither it is being dishonest about them. It is using what you have for important things without the aim to appear important. It is not elevating one’s worth above others.
Why is it important for children to develop the virtue of humility?
Children are naturally obedient and humble because they are totally dependent to their parents. As they grow up these traits may diminish because of their environment and experiences .
It is very important that parents retain and strengthen the virtue of humility in their children because it will help them overcome challenges that they will encounter in their lifetime.
Humility makes them accept humiliations. When they have modest view of their selves, humiliations caused by others won’t affect them severely. There is a big chance that they can turn the negative feedback to their advantage.
Humbly accepting the imperfections within you makes it is easy to forgive the mistakes of others. Yes, humility makes people forgiving of others and their weaknesses.
People with humility avoid prejudging and discrimination. They look at people equally or even higher than themselves.
Humility enable people to keep their relationships, to be successful in their career and to live a happy life. Wouldn’t you want your children achieve those when they grow up?
But how can you help your children obtain humility? This is what we are going to discuss next. Please. continue reading.
How to develop humility in your children?
As we have mentioned before, we joined our parish’s accompaniment program which helps parishioners in resolving family issues and concerns by giving talks and seminars. One talk we attended and that we already shared in this website is about raising resilient children. Click the link below to read more.
What we are sharing with you in this article are what we learned about the talk on developing the virtue of humility in children. that we have attended too. Listed below are the suggestions we got from the talk.
- Teach your children to accept humiliating events of life. Allow children to commit mistakes and make them realize how to correct them on their own. One example is teaching your children to accept a failing grade in school. Instead of responding with anger, make them feel that it is ok to fail sometimes and that failure should be an encouragement to improve.
- Teach them to serve the homeless and the poor. Organize an outreach for your family. You can visit an orphanage or a slum area where people are in need. Teach them to help them instead of looking down at them.
- Expose them to great teachers and their stories. Let them know of the failures these people experienced, how they accepted these in all humility and how they bounced back to be successful.
- For Christians, expose them to the life of the saints who served the Lord and others with great humility. One good example is the Holy Virgin Mary. She served her cousin Elizabeth during the latter’s pregnancy even though she knows that she is the chosen one to bear the Son of God. More significantly, she sacrificed her life to be obedient to the will of the Lord
- Always remind your children that their value is not affected by their talents, wealth, status & good looks. Make them feel that they are valuable enough as your children and as children of God. Treat them all equally and let fairness rule in your house.
- Constantly, remind them that all human beings deserve respect regardless of age, sex, nationality, beliefs and financial status. Teach them to always respond politely and apologize if necessary. Instill in them the use of three magic words which are thank you, please and sorry.
- Teach your children how to pray by praying with them. Prayer is the humility of man recognizing the greatness of God,
All the suggestions provided here will be useless if we as parents do not walk our talk. We should be the role models of our children.
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How to Teach Humility to Our Children