With integrity, you have nothing to fear, since you have nothing to hide. With integrity, you will do the right thing, so you will have no guilt. -Zig Ziglar
Truer words were never spoken!
So what does this have to do with raising sons? Integrity is a core value; it must be taught and one of the best tools for teaching is “by example!” Are you teaching your son the importance of integrity; are you an example for him to follow?
When you lead by example with integrity your son will appreciate and trust the honesty you share; when he makes a mistake, and he will, he will trust that he can be honest with you and face the consequences. It also means that you, as his example, will appreciate the honesty and deal with it accordingly.
Integrity-At Every Age
When my nephew was only three, maybe four years old I took him to the local drug store on a warm summer day. When we checked out and headed to the car, I noticed he was carrying a candy bar. We didn’t pay for a candy bar!
“Hey buddy we didn’t pay for that,” I said. He just shrugged his shoulders; it wasn’t a big deal to him. I sent him back in to put the candy bar back, explaining that we can’t have it if we didn’t pay for it. I watched him slowly walk back into the store to put it back. He returned with a different candy bar! “Did you pay for that one?” I asked. He replied “No.” Perfect teaching moment, we went back in together and put the candy back with a clear understanding if you want something you must pay for it! He didn’t know that candy bars weren’t free, but that’s exactly how you teach integrity and why you start early.
What a great young man he will grow up to be when he is taught (and learns) to do the right thing; to be honest, no matter what.
Now to be honest it was the cutest thing I’d ever seen, and the store clerk was barely able to keep a straight face, but the lesson was important, and a core value was instilled.
Integrity covers so much; here are the top three:
- doing the right thing
Once instilled, it really does set you apart from others. Remember this, “when you lie down with dogs you get fleas!” In other words, it’s important that your son is choosing friends that have the same values as him, otherwise, he’ll get fleas!
Want more helpful tips and insight on raising sons? My book “Generation of Men-How to raise your son to be a healthy man among men,” is available on Amazon!