Habit of Integrity and Honesty


Habit of Integrity and Honesty
Parent Personal Integrity check
  1. I have lied to a client or customer about something significant
  2. I have made an unauthorized copy of software, music or video.
  3. I used the internet for more than 15minutes for personal reasons during work time.
  4. I have misrepresented or omitted facts on a tax return.
  5. I kept something that is not mine(e.g extra change, a towel from a hotel).
  6. I have asked my child to lie for me(e.g tell someone I am not home)
  7. I have lied to my child to get out of a difficult situation.

That habit of integrity and honesty is the hardest to teach. A “do as I say not as I do” approach does not work. Integrity id doing what you say you will. It is also choosing to do what is right because you believe in it. There are very few role models for our children who are pillars of integrity. Every day, in newspapers and television, children are exposed to corruption, stealing, lying or worse, powerful people who abuse their power to get wealthy. We cannot be passive and allow our children to come up with their own moral judgement, otherwise they may choose the shortcut to wealth. We need to communicate our own values and opinions on what is right or wrong about what other people do. “money is the root of all evil,” so we need to tell our kids that they should never compromise their integrity just to earn money.  I recall talking to a little girl, asking her what she wanted to be when she grew up. I encouraged her to be the president of the Philippine. She immediately retorted: “I don’t want to be president because I don’t want to steal money.” It is never too early to teach our children about honesty and integrity.

How can the Habit of Integrity and Honesty be developed?
Do what you say you will do. Honor your work. Keep your promises. Follow through on your commitments. Teach your children through example. When they make you a promise, even if it is difficult to keep, hold them to it. In the same way, if you tell your kids that you are going to do something, be true to your word and do it. Many kid’s hearts have been broken waiting for parents to keep an unfulfilled promise. A person with integrity will always honor his word, just as entrepreneurs who do business on a handshake.

Be honest in what you say and do. Do not allow children to lie, cheat or steal. Lying is something all kids can identify with. Teach them to tell the truth even if it hurts, by listening to them without passing judgement. Lying, cheating and stealing always start with small things. Getting another person’s pencil, keeping loose change or telling a “white lie” to cover up for something, can be the beginning of a habit of a person who will take a bribe and think that there is nothing wrong with it, because everyone is doing it anyway.

Explain to kids that in business, people do lie. Question advertisement aloud, and tell your children that people should not tell others that a product can do something that it can’t really do, or not tell people of a product that could harm you ( i.e. the Melamine scandal). If kids learn NOT TO ACCEPT LIES at an early age, there will be fewer liars in business and more entrepreneurs with integrity.

Do not get what is not yours. Respect intellectual property. Kids easily quip “Finders Keepers!” in our school, we always say “Finders Return”. We celebrate honesty and profusely thank the person who returns something that is not his. We teach them to share the joy of the person who lost something and finds it again: “thank you for returning the money. Your friend will be happy that he won’t be hungry for lunch.” Kids should not claim work that is not theirs. Hacking, piracy and plagiarism are modern day enemies of integrity and honesty. Children know that things are “not original” Ironically, I know of may wealthy people who don’t think there is anything wrong with stealing a blanket from an airplane or a towel from a hotel because it is just a “small thing”. It is “small things” like these that builds a child’s tolerance for stealing, cheating and lying.

  
Code of ethics for kids @ business
Discuss with your child the Habits of Good Work Ethics.
Come up with your won code of ethics that you can post in his room. For example :
Always come on time.
Do your best in everything that you do.
Be honest

Ask your self when making an ethical decision
A List Of The Top Ten Questions You Should Ask Your Self When Making An Ethical Decision

10 could the decision become habit forming? If so, don’t do it.
9 is it legal? If it isn’t don’t do it.
8 is it safe? If it isn’t don’t do it.
7 is it the right thing to do? If it isn’t don’t do it.
6 will this stand the test of public scrutiny? If it isn’t won’t, don’t do it.
5 If something terrible were to happen, could I defend my action? If you can’t don’t do it.
4 is it just, balanced and fair? If it isn’t, don’t do it.
3 how will it make me feel about myself? If it’s lousy, don’t do it.
2 does this choice lead to the greatest good for the greatest number? If it doesn’t don’t do it.

And the # 1 question you should ask yourself when making an ethical decision:
1 would I do this in front of my mother? If you wouldn’t don’t do it.

(Taylor, 1990)

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