Pride in your school or your family can be cool. The pride that puffs someone up and makes him insufferable? Not so cool. With humility being the opposite of pride, find some effective activities and lessons for increasing your youngster’s humility and squashing that prideful part that can be so ugly.
1. Define Pride
Before you can expect your child to ditch a prideful attitude, you’ll have to define pride first. Tell your child, “When someone feels prideful, he feels like the best, smartest or strongest person -- always better than other people. This attitude comes out in the way you talk about yourself and the things you know or can do.” Add a warning for good measure: “When someone walks around thinking he knows everything, he might make some very big mistakes because a person can’t possibly know everything there is to know about everything.”
2. Introduce the Humble Alternative
Because you want your child to display humility and a humble attitude, cue him in on this mindset. You might say, “When you know you don’t know everything and you want to learn, you’re showing a humble spirit. Humble people ask for help and advice and they also know that they’re not better than everyone else. Humble people are usually easy to hang out with because they’re friendly.”
3. Turn it Outward
Encourage your child to look around him every day to find at least one person he can compliment. The compliment needs to be sincere and relevant to the situation -- no off-hand “I like your shoes” compliments allowed. Instead, insist that the compliments be connected to a quality about the person or something the person did. Your child might tell his older brother, “You play the trumpet really well. I hope I can play like that someday.” Help your child get the hang of this complimenting thing by delivering lots of compliments yourself to set the right example.
4. Balancing Act
Because everyone has impressive skills and accomplishments to be proud of, the key is balancing the urge to crow your achievements to the world with a hefty dose of humility. To teach little ones how to do this, use a balancing activity. Ask your little one to tell you about a skill or feat that he has. After you listen to this tiny bit of bragging, ask him to tell you about something that he could do better. Your little one might tell you that he can ride his tricycle fast first and then he might tell you that he feels scared to put his face into the water at the swimming pool. By combining these two details about himself, your tot gets a reminder that he does have limitations -- he’s not the all-around superhero that he thought he was.
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