In this post I will be going over how to teach kids about humility. As with many of the life skills I have been writing about, not learning about humility as a kid results in an adult that arrogant and egotistical. One challenge with teaching humility to kids is to ensure they remain confident in themselves and their abilities. It is easy for kids to become reserved or lack pride in their achievements when attempting to remain humble.
Another challenge in teaching kids about humility is the word itself. Being humble or showing humility are not concepts or words commonly encountered by kids. Caution should be used when first explaining this word as many kids will think humility is a part of humiliate or humiliation.
As I outlined in Part 1 of this series, the 4 steps to teaching kids life skills are: define the word, discuss what the definition means, use examples, and discuss why it is important. If you need more detail on the process, please go back and read Part 1.
Let’s apply the process to humility.
- Define the word/topic in words they understand
- Humility means “Confidently helping others without bragging or showing off.”
- During this step, simply have the kids repeat the definition after you 3-5 times. Do this 2-3 times during the week.
- Discuss what the definition means in more detail
- Not bragging or showing off means when you do something well, you don’t want to rub it in other people’s faces. Being proud of what you accomplished and even celebrating a little is perfectly fine as long as it does not make others feel bad.
- When you are good at something and receive recognition for it, chances are there will be others that feel bad about it. When you are in this situation, it is important to use your skills to help out those who are in need of help. At the very least, be a good example of how to act so others have someone to look up to and aspire to be.
- It is important to remember to remain confident in your abilities when holding back bragging or showing off. Let your actions speak rather than your words and people will notice.
- During this step, have the kids repeat the definition after you 3-5 times then have a short discussion on the topics above. Do this 2-3 time during the week.
- Use examples in everyday life
- Example of humility in karate: you are at a karate tournament and get first place in sparring. You don’t want to tell everyone “I knew I was going to win; I am the best one here.” A better thing to do would be to congratulate all of the other competitors and tell them something they did well that you liked.
- Example of humility at school: you got a test back from your teacher and got 100%. The student next to you did not do so well. You don’t tell that student “Wow, you did bad. I would never do that bad.” A better thing to do would be to tell that student that they will do better next time or offer them some help if they want it.
- During this step, have the kids repeat the definition after you 3-5 times then have a short discussion on the topics above. Feel free to replace the examples with ones of your own. Substitute a different activity for karate if they don’t practice karate. Be sure to ask them for an example first before providing yours. Do this 2-3 time during the week.
- Discuss why it is important
- Why is it important to show humility? There are several reasons why we must remain humble. For one, if we are bragging or showing off, other people will feel bad about themselves. Another reason is when we act without humility, we aren’t the type of person people want to be around and will likely not have many friends.
- During this step, briefly go over all steps 1-3 before going into this step. Be sure to ask the kids why they think it is important before providing them with the answer. Do this 2-3 times during the week.
Remember, it only takes less than 5 minutes, 2-3 times a week to go through these steps. Feel free to comment or contact me with questions.
Stay tuned for my next post which will be on how to teach kids concentration.