Monday, January 31, 2011

Reader Requests 2011 - Post 2

This week we are talking about........

Check out what our reader said:

"I would love to see some tips on how to teach the concept of humility to kids. I have a six year old that KNOWS IT ALL. I know that's really common for her age, but it's worrying me.

Our daughter is really bright. She's very curious, always reading and wanting to learn new things. I definitely don't want to squelch that passion as I do see it as one of her God-given gifts and talents, but I think being humble is equally important.

Outside of modeling humility, how do you teach the concept? Any ideas you have would be greatly appreciated!"

So give us your ideas on teaching humility to the little ones!! Great question - and thank you for your Reader Request, keep them coming.


Lisa said...

This is a tough question! I think one way to help a child practice humility is to celebrate the talents and abilities that other people have while still celebrating her own talents. By looking for the abilities that others have she will learn that everyone has things they are good at and that those talents are different. Hopefully she will be able to recognize that she is not better than anyone else, just different.

Heather said...

I agree with what Lisa said. Everyone has strengths. On top of that, have some little lessons about the importance of being kind and not braggy all the time. Berenstain Bears has a great book: "No Girls Allowed," that talks about when Sister Bear gets too confident in her own abilities and what that does to her friendships.

Help her understand that the things she is good at are gifts. Perhaps, in teaching respect, she will learn that the knowledge and maturity of those older than she is (aka: teachers, parents, neighbors) will encourage her to ask rather than tell them what she thinks. I found the following online at

"This attitude can be instilled in our children by teaching them three simple words: 'Is it possible...?' For example, when a mother is trying to help her daughter with her math homework and makes an error, her daughter, instead of saying, 'MOM, YOU'VE GOT IT ALL WRONG!' should say, 'Is it possible you're making a mistake, Mom?'

'Is it possible...?' turns vocabulary that is arrogant and "me-centered" into a vocabulary that shows respect for a parent. This is an invaluable tool for building humility.

A final aspect of humility is the ability to admit our errors.

The arrogant person can do no wrong, while the humble person admits his mistakes freely. More importantly, the humble person always keeps in mind the possibility that he could be mistaken."

Delia said...

Wow...Heather. Great advice. I learned a lot by reading your comment. I really like that phrase, "Is it possible...?" I want to incorporate that into my OWN vocabulary.

My personal opinion is that your daughter is just 6 and her know-it-all attitude is partly just characteristic of her age. I commend you for wanting to teach her a better way. I am no parenting expert and I know that every child is different. But when my son, who is also 6, starts to put down his brother by saying "You're just 2, you don't know what you're talking about..." or something like that; we talk about it. I try not to let it slide. I address the issue and help him better understand the situation, so that he will have compassion rather than anger toward his brother or "superior" thoughts.

Thanks for bringing up this issue. I learned a lot.