Barratt Virtues

Excerpts from the book Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues that Teach Kids to Do the

Right Thing. Author Michelle Borba, Ed.D.

 

The truth is that incidents of blatant unfairness among youth are occurring in

growing numbers throughout our towns and cities. The trend suggests that

many kids have not learned the true meaning of the age-old ethical standard

called fair play. Instead of playing by the rules, treating competitors justly,

and practicing those self-evident truths of integrity, equity, and honesty,

these children choose to tip the advantage toward themselves regardless of

the moral cost or how their actions could affect others. And the tactics they

use are often cruel, violent, clearly immoral, and always unfair.

The good news, however, is that fairness can be inspired, nurtured, taught,

and learned, and research confirms that we can start when our children are

just toddlers. Doing so will improve the moral atmosphere not only on our

playing fields and classrooms but also in our families, neighborhoods,

workplaces, and society.

 

Fairness is what induces us to treat others in a righteous,

impartial, and just way, and is therefore an essential virtue

for moral intelligence. The problem is that our society is

based on such values as competition, individualism, and

materialism, which can occasionally contradict the ethical

tenets of fairness. And therein lies the crisis: because these

self-centered values are so entrenched in our lives, kids are

bound to encounter messages promoting a dog-eat-dog world

in which winning is all that matters, greed is an admirable

attribute, and success is equated solely with wealth and

fame.

.

 

Three Essential Fairness Behaviors to Model to Kids

 

Spell Out and Model Family Ground Rules for Sharing Studies show that kids learn

behaviors essential to fair play—such as taking turns, sharing, and cooperation—by

copying others, and they are much more likely to adopt the new behavior if the person

modeling it is important to them. Most morality theorists agree that sharing is one of

most important behaviors to nurture first.

 

Show How to Compromise Teaching kids to compromise boosts not only fairness but

also the skills of conflict resolution and getting along that they use the rest of their lives.

Like most skills, the best way to teach the art of compromising is by first modeling it to

your kids. Start by describing what it means: “When you compromise it means you’re

willing to give up a little of what you want, and the other person is too. It’s a fair way

solve a problem because everyone is more satisfied: each person can have at least part

of what she wants.”

 

Apologize and Say You’re Sorry One of the moral skills we ask of our kids is to say

they’re sorry for any harm they caused. But, ironically, parents tell me that apologizing

to their kids is often difficult for them. Saying you’re sorry doesn’t mean you’re

admitting to not being perfect (believe me, our kids have already figured that out) or

begging for forgiveness. It’s just making a simple and direct statement that expresses

remorse and rebuilds your parent-child bond. Parents who apologize are much more

likely to have kids willing to say they’re sorry to others. Doing so is one way to act

justly.

 

Borba, M. (2001) Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues that Teach Kids to Do the Right Thing. Jossey-Bass. San Francisco, CA

February Virtue: Tolerance

Excerpts from the book Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues that Teach Kids to Do the
Right Thing
. Author Michelle Borba, Ed.D.

To help our children live in a more harmonious world, we must teach them to be respectful of diversity. After all, their world is growing more diverse every day. Whereas some children are responding to change with fear, prejudice, violence, and hate crimes, others are learning to accept differences. The more tolerant your children are, the more open they will be to learning about other people. The more they learn, the less they will be uncomfortable or fearful in any kind of situation, with any kind of person.

Four Ways to Develop positive Attitudes About Diversity

Celebrate Differences Early On. Begin by having young children make prints of their thumbs and then discussing how, just as no two thumb prints are alike, no two people are alike either. People’s differences are one thing that make the world such a wonderful place.

Expose Your Child to Diversity. Ignorance or lack of information is one of the most common reasons children develop stereotypes. Inexperience, especially if combined with incomplete information can lead children to have fears or insecurities about others.

Give Straightforward, Simple Answers to Questions About Differences. Kids are naturally curious, so you should expect questions about differences. Asking questions is one way for them to sort out how they are different or the same from others as well as to learn to feel comfortable with those differences.

Help Your Child Look For Similarities. Encourage your child to look for what he has in common with others instead of how he is different.

 

Borba, M. (2001) Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues that Teach Kids to Do the Right Thing. Jossey-Bass. San Francisco, CA

Week 2

Excerpts from the book Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues that Teach Kids to Do the
Right Thing
. Author Michelle Borba, Ed.D.

Six Practices That Help Raise Tolerant Kids

  1. Confront your own prejudices. None of us are completely free of some prejudices or stereotypical beliefs. The problem is that prejudices and stereotypes can be so deeply seated that we may not even be aware they are there. But our kids sure are! Chances are that you are communicating those attitudes (usually quite unintentionally) to your child.
  2. Commit yourself to raising a tolerant child. If you really want your child to appreciate and respect diversity, then you must adopt a conviction early on to raise him to do so. Once your child knows your expectations, he will be more likely to embrace your principles.
  3. Refuse to allow discriminatory comments in your presence. When you hear such comments, emphasize your discomfort and verbalize your displeasure: “That’s disrespectful, and I won’t allow such things to be said in my house,” or “That’s a biased comment, and I don’t want to hear it.” Your child needs to hear your discomfort so that she knows you really walk your talk. It also models a response she should imitate if prejudicial comments are made in her presence.
  4. Provide positive images of all ethnic groups. From the time your child is very young, expose him to positive images-including toys, music, literature, videos, public role models, and examples from TV or newspaper reports-that represent a variety of ethnic groups. The more your child sees how you embrace diversity, the more prone he’ll be to follow your standards.
  5. Encourage involvement with a wide range of diversities. Encourage your child, no matter how young, to have contact with individuals of different races, religions, cultures, genders, abilities and beliefs. Make sure you display openness to people who represent a range of diversitiesso that your child imitates how you respect differences.
  6. Live your life as an example of tolerance. Ask yourself each day, If my child had only my behavior to copy, would he be witnessing an example of what I want him to emulate? Make sure you are walking your talk.

 

How do we begin to inspire tolerance in our kids? An important point to remember is this: before a child can learn to appreciate and tolerate others, he has to appreciate himself. Clyde W. Ford author of We Can All Get Along, explains: “Children will not learn to accept and tolerate differences in others if they have not experienced acceptance and tolerance for their differences.” So an important beginning step to fostering tolerance is to help your child understand how you and your family respect the special qualities of each member.

 

Borba, M. (2001) Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues that Teach Kids to Do the Right Thing. Jossey-Bass. San Francisco, CA

Week 1

Excerpts from the book Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues that Teach Kids to Do the
Right Thing
. Author Michelle Borba, Ed.D.

Tolerance is a powerful moral virtue that helps curtail hatred, violence, and bigotry while at the same time influencing us to treat others with kindness, respect, and understanding. Tolerance does not require that we suspend moral judgment; it does require that we respect differences. This sixth virtue is what helps our children recognize that all persons deserve to be treated with love, justice and respect, even if we happen to disagree with some of their beliefs or behaviors. It is a crucial component of moral intelligence that we must instill in our children.

Tolerance as an ethical virtue has two aspects. The first is respect: for the basic human dignity and unalienable rights of all persons, including their freedom of conscience to make moral choices as long as they don’t infringe on the rights of others.

The second aspect of tolerance is the appreciation of the richness of human diversity, of the many positive qualities and contributions of people from all backgrounds, races, religions, countries, and cultures.

Tolerant children have the ability to maintain this respect even if they disagree with someone’s perspectives and beliefs. Because they have that capacity, these kids are less tolerant of cruelty, bigotry, and racism. So it is not surprising that these children grow to become adults who find ways to make our world a more humane place. Increasing children’s tolerance is what will help them reject prejudice, biases, stereotypes and hatred and learn to respect people more for their character and attitudes than for their differences.

Borba, M. (2001) Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues that Teach Kids to Do the Right Thing. Jossey-Bass. San Francisco, CA.

 

January virtue: Conscience week 2

Excerpts from the book Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues that Teach Kids to Do the Right Thing. Author Michelle Borba, Ed.D.

The conscience is that powerful inner voice that helps keep our kids on the moral path of doing right and zaps them with a dose of guilt whenever they stray. Because you are your child’s primary moral teacher, there’s much you can do to build goodness in your child and influence her moral development.

Create the Context for Moral Growth

Why do some kids turn out moral, while others stray from the ethical path? Research says there are some parenting practices that clearly do make a difference in helping kids learn right from wrong. Here are the six parenting practices that are significant in raising kids with strong, healthy consciences.

Six Parenting Practices That Promote Development of a Strong Conscience

  1. Be a strong moral example.
  2. Develop a close, mutually respectful relationship.
  3. Share your moral beliefs.
  4. Expect and demand moral behaviors.
  5. Use moral reasoning and questioning.
  6. Explain your parenting behavior.

Are You Walking Your (Moral) Talk?

Think of the incidents in your day to day life that might be sending mixed moral lessons about honesty and integrity to your kids. Be careful: kids watch us more than we sometimes realize, and what they see is often not what we want them to see. A quick way to check whether you are walking your talk with your kids is to ask yourself, How would my child describe my moral behavior to someone else? Is it how I would like to be described?

Borba, M. (2001) Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues that Teach Kids to Do the Right Thing. Jossey-Bass. San Francisco, CA.

 

January virtue: Conscience week 1

Excerpts from the book Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues that Teach Kids to Do the
Right Thing
. Author Michelle Borba, Ed.D.

What is conscience?

A strong conscience- that magnificent inner voice that helps us know right from wrong- is what lays the foundation for decent living, solid citizenship, and ethical behavior. It’s what morality is about; together with empathy and self-control, it’s one of the three cornerstones of moral intelligence. And it’s what every parent wants his child to possess. Helping our kids achieve this second essential virtue is critical.

Signs of a Strong Conscience to Share with Kids

There are many ways people display strong moral actions, and the more aware that kids are of the kinds of things people with healthy conscience say and do, the more likely they are to incorporate them into their own behavior. Here are a few examples of conscience to discuss and role play with your child:

What People with a Conscience Say

“I know how to act right.”

“You should put that back. It isn’t yours.”

“I only watch TV shows that my parents permit.”

“Let’s do something else. This isn’t right.”

“You can count on me.”

“I’m sorry. It was my fault.”

“You should tell the truth.”

“I do my own homework, because copying is cheating.”

What People with a Conscience Do

Act the way they know is right.

Do not steal, cheat, or lie because they know it’s wrong.

Obey their parents even when the parents are not watching.

Are not swayed by others, and do what they know is right.

Can be trusted to do what they are told.

Admit when they are wrong.

Obey the rules because it’s the right thing to do.

What to do About the Crisis of Conscience

  • You are your child’s first and most powerful moral teacher, so make sure the moral behaviors your kids are picking up from you are ones that you want your child to copy.
  • If you want your child to act morally, then expect and demand moral behaviors from her.
  • Look for moral issues to talk about as they come up; your child can hear your moral beliefs, and you can assess your child’s moral reasoning and stretch him to the next level.
  • Take an active stand against influences toxic to your child’s moral development, such as certain television shows, movies, music, video games, and Internet websites. Plainly explain your concerns to your child, set standards, and then stick to them.

 

Borba, M. (2001) Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues that Teach Kids to Do the Right Thing. Jossey-Bass. San Francisco, CA.

 

Empathy Week 4

Develop Empathy for Another Person’s Point of View

Three Simple Ways to Increase Children’s Role-Taking Abilities

  1. Switch roles to feel the other side. The next time there’s a conflict between siblings…ask each participant to stop and think how the other person would feel if the roles were reversed.
  2. Walk in my shoes. Choose a real situation that concerns you, and have your child step into your shoes imagining what it would be like to experience the event from your perspective.
  3. Imagine how the person feels. To help your child identify with the feelings of others is to have him imagine how the other person feels about a specific circumstance.

Discipline That Builds Empathy

C– Call attention to the insensitive, uncaring behavior.

A- Ask, “How would you feel?”

R- Recognize the consequences of the behavior.

E- Express and explain your disapproval of the insensitive action.

 

Empathy Week 3

Excerpts from the book Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues that Teach Kids to Do the
Right Thing
. Author Michelle Borba, Ed.D.

Enhance Sensitivity to the Feelings of Others

One of the biggest reasons some kids are more sensitive is that they can correctly interpret people’s emotional cues: their tone of voice, posture, and facial expressions. Without that understanding, a child is greatly limited in his ability to react to another person’s needs.

Six Simple Ways to Nurture Kid’s Sensitivity

  1. 1.      Praise sensitive, kind actions. “Karen, I love how gentle you are with your baby sister. You pat her so softly, and it makes me so happy knowing how caring you are.”
  2. 2.      Show the effect of sympathy. “Derrick, your grandmother was so pleased when you called to thank her for the present.” “Suraya, did you see the smile on Ryan’s face when you shared your toys?”
  3. 3.      Draw attention to nonverbal feeling cues. “Did you notice Grandma’s face when you were talking with her today? I thought she looked puzzled. Maybe she is having trouble hearing. Why not talk a little louder when you speak to her?” “Did you see the expression on Meghan’s face when you playing today? She looked worried about something because she had a scowl on her face. Maybe you should ask her if everything is OK.”
  4. 4.      Ask often, “How does he feel?” “How do you think the mommy feels knowing her little girl just won the prize?” The tornado destroyed most of the town in Georgia; see it here on the map? How do you think the people feel?” “How do you think Daddy feels hearing that his mom is so sick?”
  5. 5.      Use the formula “feels + needs.” Parent: Look at that little girl crying in the sandbox. How do you suppose she feels? Child: I think she is sad. Parent: What do you think she needs to make her feel better? Child: Maybe she could use someone to hug her because she hurt her knee.
  6. 6.      Share why you feel the way you do. One of the best ways to help kids become sensitive to others’ feelings is to share your own.

Five Fun Ways to Help Kids Read Nonverbal Emotions

  1. Play “Guess the Feeling”. Brainstorm as many different feeling words as you can and write each of them on an index card. Each person then acts out the emotion using only his or her body. No words are allowed. Everyone else tries to guess the emotion that is being acted out.
  2.  Make comic mood characters. Cut out with your child an assortment of pictures from newspapers and magazines showing people depicting a wide array of different emotions. Guess together how each person feels based on how his or her body looks; help your child draw balloons over each person’s head and together write inside what you thinkhe or she may be saying.
  3. Read with feeling! This activity helps children recognize that our tone of voice conveys moods. Read the same short passage each time, give your voice a different emotional tone [bored, excited, tired, sad, angry] and challenge to identify the tone.
  4. Watch TV silently. Turn off the sound on your television and watch the show together. Make a game out of trying to guess how the actors feel, just from what you see. Point out the kind of nonverbal behaviors people do to express their feelings.
  5. Hold a feeling watch. With your child, watch other people’s faces and body language at the shopping mall, grocery store, park or playground. Try together to guess their emotional state without hearing their conversation.

Borba, M. (2001) Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues that Teach Kids to Do the Right Thing. Jossey-Bass. San Francisco, CA.

 

Empathy Week 2

Excerpts from the book Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues that Teach Kids to Do the
Right Thing
. Author Michelle Borba, Ed.D.

Foster Awareness and an Emotional Vocabulary

Of course we want our kids to be compassionate and sensitive to other people’s feelings. The problem is that many kids’ empathy potential is greatly handicapped because they don’t have the ability to identify express emotions. They have tremendous difficulty feeling for the other person simply because they may not recognize the other person’s hurt, elation, discomfort, anxiety, pride, happiness or anger. What these kids need is an education that provides stronger emotional intelligence: an adequate vocabulary of feelings and then the encouragement to use it. Once they are more emotionally literate and can understand their own feelings, their empathy will grow, because they will be far more capable of understanding and feeling other people’s concerns and needs.

How to Listen to Your Child with Empathy

T- Tune in to your child’s feelings and listen with empathy.

A- Acknowledge what is causing the emotion.

L- Label how the child is feeling.

K- Kindle a resolution for the child’s need.

Example:

Child’s Concern: “I don’t want to go to soccer practice.”

Parent’s Empathic Response: “Do you notice that whenever you know you have soccer practice you feel a bit uptight because you don’t think you can kick as well as the other kids? Would you like me to help you think of how to improve your kicking?”

Four Ideas to Help Kids Develop a Stronger Emotional Vocabulary

  1. Use feeling questions. “You seem [tense, anxious worried] about something. What’s the matter?” “How do you think he feels?”
  2. Say your feeling ABCs. A, angry; B, brave; C, calm; and so on.
  3. Have feelings with dinner. One night or more a week, have a dinner conversation that includes discussing the feelings each member had during the day. You might begin by picking a feeling-such as proud- and asking, “What was the proudest moment you had this week?”
  4. Create feeling cards. On each card, write the names of some of the most common emotion words, starting with just a few and then adding more as older ones are learned. Then help your child find pictures from magazines or computer programs to depict each emotion; glue them onto the corresponding card. Now use them like flash cards.

Borba, M. (2001) Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues that Teach Kids to Do the Right Thing. Jossey-Bass. San Francisco, CA.

Empathy Week 1

Excerpts from the book Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues that Teach Kids to Do the
Right Thing
. Author Michelle Borba, Ed.D.

What is Empathy?

Empathy- The ability to identify with and feel another person’s concerns-is the foundation of moral intelligence. Empathy is what enhances humanness, civility, and morality. Empathy is the emotion that alerts a child to another person’s plight and stirs his conscience. It is what moves children to be tolerant and compassionate, to understand other people’s needs, to care enough to help those who are hurt or troubled. A child who learns empathy will be much more understanding and caring, and will usually be more adept at handling anger.

There are many ways people display empathy towards others, and the more aware that kids are of what those actions look and sound like, the more likely they are to incorporate those behaviors into their daily lives. Here are a few examples of empathy to discuss and role-play with your child:

What People with Empathy Say

“You look upset.”

“I understand how you feel.”

“I’m sad that you got hurt.”

“That happened to me once. It makes me feel sad for you.”

“My heart is racing. I feel like I won, too.”

“I’m happy for you.”

Talk soothingly to those in pain.

What People with Empathy Do

Notice when people are hurting, and feel for them.

Tear up when they see someone crying.

Walk up to console others in pain.

Comfort another because they understand the person’s hurt.

Feel excited for others when they win.

Wince when they see the hero hurt at the movies.

Mirror the facial expressions of the distressed person.

Borba, M. (2001) Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues that Teach Kids to Do the Right Thing. Jossey-Bass. San Francisco, CA.

 

Self Control Week 3 &4

Excerpts from the book Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues that Teach Kids to Do the
Right Thing
. Author Michelle Borba, Ed.D.

Teach Your Child to Control His Urges and Think Before Acting

Four Anger Control Strategies that Help Kids Cope in Stressful Situations

  1. Develop a feeling vocabulary.
  • “Looks like you’re really angry. Want to talk about it?” “You seem really irritated. Do you need to walk it off?”
  1. Identify anger warning signs.
  • “I talk louder. My cheeks get flushed. I clench my fists. My heart pounds. My mouth gets dry. I breathe faster.”
  1. Use self-talk to stay in control.
  • “Stop and calm down,” “Stay in control,” “Take a deep breath,” and “I can handle this.”
  1. Teach abdominal breath control.

A Three-Part Formula to Help Kids Control Impulsive Urges

  1. Stop
  • The first part to helping your child restrain impulses is the most important: she must learn to stop and freeze before acting. The split second she takes to freeze and not act on an impulse can make a critical difference- especially in stressful or potentially dangerous situations.
  1. Think
  • The second part of helping kids control impulses is getting them to think about their stressful situation and the possible consequences of a wrong choice.  Predicting how decisions will turn out is not easy for many adults, let alone children, but is an important part of helping kids handle impulses so they do act right.
  1. Act Right
  • Once she proceeds, there is no turning back- she is stuck with the outcome of her decision. This last step helps your child recognize that she alone is ultimately responsible for her actions, and it’s an important part of developing moral intelligence.

What to do About the Crisis of Poor Self-Control.

  • To teach kids about self-control, you must show kids self-control, so be a living example of self-control.
  • Be aware of the ratings for violence on television, music, movies, and video games, then set clear standards for your child and stick to them.
  • Refrain from always giving tangible rewards for your child’s efforts. Help her develop her ownb internal reward system in which she acknowledges herself for a job well done.
  • Your home is the best place for your child to learn by trial and error how to control his impulses and deal with stressful situations. Reinforce his efforts until he is confident doing do on his own.
  • Kids need to practice making moral decisions, so help your child think through the possible outcomes and then guide her toward making safe and right choices; this way, she will eventually learn to act right without your help.

 

Borba, M. (2001) Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues that Teach Kids to Do the Right

Thing. Jossey-Bass. San Francisco, CA.

 

Self Control Week 2

Excerpts from the book Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues that Teach Kids to Do the
Right Thing
. Author Michelle Borba, Ed.D.

Four Family Practices that Nurture Self Control

1           Teach the meaning and value of self control.

  • “Self control means making your body and mind have the power to do what you know it should do. It’s what helps you make the right choices in tempting situations, even when bad ideas or thoughts pop into your head. Self control is what helps you stop and think about what might happen if you made those harmful choices. It keeps you out of trouble and helps you act right.”

2           Commit to raising your kids to have self control.

3           Create a family self control motto.

  • Ex. “Think then act.” “He that can have patience can have what he will.” “The best remedy for a short temper is a long walk.” “Nothing valuable can be lost by taking time.” “You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it.”

4           Set a rule to talk only when in control.

Model Self-Control and Make it a Priority for your child

  • How do I act in front of my kids after a hard day and my patience is lacking?
  • How do I control my own anger and stress?
  • In the middle of an argument, am I able to stop and say, “Let’s get calm”?
  • Am I doing anything in excess- drinking, gambling, eating, smoking, swearing, spending, working or playing- that might be sending a mixed message to my kid?
  • Do I restrain my urge to drive over the speed limit?
  • Do I model fiscal prudence or buy things impulsively?

Making a Family Poster of Ways to Stay in Control

This poster can include pictures, words, and magazine cutouts, and everyone should contribute ideas. Each member should choose a personal “control” technique that he feels works best for him and share it with the others; that way, other family members can encourage the person to use the technique whenever he starts to get out of control.  …a list of ways to get back in control when you’re stressed or angry:

Take a brisk walk. Listen to soothing music. Draw pictures. Sing or Hum. Get a cold drink. Think of a peaceful place. Do aerobics or exercise. Take ten slow, deep breaths. Change your posture and stretch. Run a lap. Shoot baskets. Talk to someone. Count slowly to twenty-five. Talk more slowly.

 

Borba, M. (2001) Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues that Teach Kids to Do the Right

Thing. Jossey-Bass. San Francisco, CA.

 

Self Control Week 1

Excerpts from the book Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues that Teach Kids to Do the
Right Thing
. Author Michelle Borba, Ed.D.

Self-control is what helps kids regulate their behaviors so that they are more likely to do what they know in their minds and hearts is correct.

Kids learn self-control not only from directly watching parents, teachers, and their peers but also from observing characters in books, in movies and on television.

Self-control is the virtue at the core of our kids’ self reliance: if a child has self control, he knows he has choices and can control his actions. It is a virtue that motivates generosity and kindness, because it helps a child put aside what would give him immediate gratification and stirs his conscience to do something for someone instead. Self-control is also what propels a child toward strong character, because it stops him from overindulging in pleasure and allows him to focus instead on his responsibilities. Self-control is what alerts a child to the potentially dangerous consequences of his actions, because it helps him use his head to control his emotions.

Signs of strong self-control to share with kids:

There are many ways people display self-control, and the more aware that kids are of what those actions look and sound like, the more likely they are to incorporate those behaviors into their daily lives. Here are a few examples of self control to discuss and role play with your child:

What People with Self- Control Say

“I need to calm down. I feel angry”

“I’ll save my money instead of buying that toy.”

“I’ll raise my hand before talking.”

“I understand the rule, so I won’t break it.”

“The cake looks so good, but it’s almost dinner.”

“I’d really like to go with you, but I have to study.”

“I have to do my homework, so I’ll watch TV later.”

 

What People with Self-Control Do

Take three deep breaths when they feel stressed.

Wait patiently in line without pushing or cutting.

Say no to urges that they know are bad choices.

Don’t lose control when angry or upset.

Behave well even when no one is watching.

Start working without procrastinating.

Plan what they will do and follow through.

 

Respect Week 4

Excerpts from the book Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues that Teach Kids to Do the
Right Thing
. Author Michelle Borba, Ed.D.

 

Emphasize Good Manners and Courtesy- They do Count!

Five Steps to Help Kids Learn New Manners

  1. Identify your child’s “manner needs”.
  2. Model the new courtesy skill to your child.
  3. Provide opportunities to practice the skill.
  4. Encourage your child’s efforts.
  5. Arrange real world practice.

Essential Polite Words

  • Please
  • Thank you
  • Excuse me
  • I’m Sorry
  • May I?
  • Pardon me
  • You’re welcome

Meeting and Greeting Manners

  • Smiles and looks person in the eye
  • Shakes hands
  • Says hello
  • Introduces self
  • Introduces other person

Conversation Manners

  • Starts a conversation
  • Listens without interrupting
  • Looks at the eyes of the speaker
  • Uses a pleasant tone of voice
  • Appears interested in the speaker
  • Knows how to maintain a conversation
  • Knows how to end a conversation

Anywhere and Anytime

  • Covers mouth when she coughs
  • Refrains from swearing
  • Refrains from belching
  • Refrains from gossiping
  • Holds a door for a woman or elderly person

 

Borba, M. (2001) Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues that Teach Kids to Do the Right

Thing. Jossey-Bass. San Francisco, CA.

Respect: Week 3

Excerpts from the book Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues that Teach Kids to Do the
Right Thing
. Author Michelle Borba, Ed.D.

Enhance Respect for Authority and Squelch Rudeness

How to get rid of disrespectful behavior:

  1. Call out rude behavior on the spot.
  2. Refuse to engage when treated disrespectfully.
  3. If rudeness continues, set a consequence.
  4. Teach new behaviors to replace inappropriate ones.
  5. Encourage respectful behavior.

Being respectful toward other people doesn’t mean you always have to agree with their opinions. We need to let our kids know that it’s OK to disagree; the secret is to disagree respectfully, and it’s a skill you’ll need to teach. I use the acronym FAIR to help children remember that there are four parts to sticking up for yourself respectfully. Here are the four parts and how to teach them to your child:

F—Focus on the behavior.

A—Assert yourself calmly.

I—Use an“I” message.

R—Remain Respectful.

Focus on the behavior. The first step is to tell your child to focus on the behavior of the person he’s having trouble with, and not how he feels about the person. It’s often helpful to ask your child to name what the person did that bothered him. (“He cut ahead of me in line,  “She grabbed my toy, “ “He copied the work from my paper, “ “She made fun of me in front of other kids.”)

Assert yourself calmly. Next, remind your child that her message will always be more respectful if she asserts herself calmly. So tell her to try to keep the anger and frustration she feels out of her voice and posture. Assertive posture includes holding your head high, looking at the person eye to eye, standing with feet slightly apart and arms and hands held loosely by your side. An assertive voice is calm and firm-neither yelling or wimpy.

Use an “I” message. One of the best ways to communicate respectfully is to use and assertive “I” message; you can easily teach the skill to your child. The most important thing is to tell him that instead of starting his message with the word “You,” he should begin with “I”. The “I” message will help him stay focused on the person’s troublesome behavior without putting the recipient down. Your child then simply tells the other person how the behavior made him feel and what the person did that made him feel that way. He may also state how he would like the problem resolved. Here are three examples:

  • “I get really upset when you take my stuff. I want you to ask me for permission firs.”
  • “I don’t like to be teased. Please stop.”
  • “I’m not getting a turn playing Nintendo, and it’s not fair. You need to take turns.”

Remain respectful. The final step is to emphasize to your child that although she should not haveto tolerate disrespectful treatment, at the same time she may not act disrespectfully. So name-calling, insults, and sarcasm are not allowed: she must remain respectful when she asserts her complaint. And once she does so, she should either wait for a response from the recipient- who may or may not have another solution- or calmly walk away.

 

Borba, M. (2001) Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues that Teach Kids to Do the Right

Thing.Jossey-Bass. San Francisco, CA.

Excerpts from the book Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues that Teach Kids to Do the
Right Thing
. Author Michelle Borba, Ed.D.

Convey the meaning of respect by modeling and teaching it.

Seven parenting practices that nurture respect and love:

  1. Treat your child as the most important person in the world.
  2. Give love with no strings attached.
  3. Listen attentively and respectfully.
  4. Communicate respect with your whole body, not just your words.
  5. Build positive self-concepts.
  6. Tell them often why you love and cherish them.
  7. Enjoy being together.

A story to tell kids about respect:

When Kanesha Sonee Johnson started 5th grade in Hawthorne, California, she saw that the African American kids in her class often taunted the Vietnamese students. She also noticed that the two different cultures kept to themselves and rarely interacted except to torment the other. Kanesha, an African American, thought that was wrong and believed that people should get along. She began making friends with the Asian students who couldn’t speak English. She helped them with their homework and stood up for them by telling the other students to stop harassing them.

Kenesha explained, “I just decided to, because I know how it feels when people laugh at you.” She added some wise advice: “That old poem says, ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones but names can never hurt me’, but some words do hurt.”

Kanesha strongly believed that people must respect each other regardless of their differences. So she held her ground, refusing to give in even when she was called a lot of names. Kanesha cried when she was home where her tormentors couldn’t see her, but she didn’t give up.

The eleven year old girl succeeded in her efforts. After seeing blacks and Asians choose only each other for their teams, Kanesha convinced them they should play all together. Because of her efforts, the class teams are now integrated. And she got them working together in class, respecting each other for what they had in common- being real kids and not thinking of themselves as just the “African Americans” or the “Asians”.

What would you do if someone called your friend a name or ridiculed her culture? Respectful people like Kanesha always follow one simple rule to avoid hurting other people’s feelings: treat others as you would like to be treated.

Borba, M. (2001) Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues that Teach Kids to Do the Right

Thing. Jossey-Bass. San Francisco, CA.

 

Respect Week 1

Excerpts from the book Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues that Teach Kids to Do the
Right Thing. Author Michelle Borba, Ed.D.

Respect is the virtue that enforces the Golden Rule; when we treat others the way we would like to be
treated, it helps make the world a more moral place. Children who make respect a part of their daily life
are kids who are more likely to care about the rights of others. Because they do, these kids show respect
for themselves, too. Respect is based on the premise that all people should be treated with inherent
worth and dignity, it is the cornerstone to preventing violence, injustice and hatred.

Three steps to building respect:

1. Convey the meaning of respect by modeling and teaching it.
2. Enhance respect for authority and squelch rudeness.
3. Emphasize good manners and courtesy- they do count!

What to do about the crisis of respect:

  • Treat children respectfully so that they feel respected and are therefore more likely to treat others respectfully.
  • Tune up your child’s social graces and make courtesy a priority in your home. Eating dinner regularly as a family is one of the easiest ways to teach children table manners, courtesy and conversation skills.
  • Take time to show your kids how to be respectful; never assume they have that knowledge.
  • Do not tolerate any form of back talk of rudeness. “Nipping in the bud” is always the most succesfull method of stopping any behavior from becoming a habit. Stop it before it spreads.
  • Monitor your child’s media consumption closely. Supervise his Internet, movie, video game, and television viewing, allowing only what you feel is appropriate for your child to watch.
  • Be aware of possible crude and vulgar content on recorded music: read and honor the “parental advisory” labels.

Explain your standards and expectations to the other adults- teachers, day-care staff, baby-sitters, coaches, and relatives- in your child’s life. If you work together on enhancing courtesy and respect, you’ll always be more likely to be successful.

Make sure your child is surrounded by people- grown-ups as well kids- who model respectful, courteous behaviors, so that what she is watching is what you really want her to “catch”.

Borba, M. (2001) Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues that Teach Kids to Do the Right
Thing. Jossey-Bass. San Francisco, CA.

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