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Integrity: Are your kids catching it?

February 9, 2015

written by Cathy Baker, mom of two amazing middle-school girls, living life in the heart of the Ozarks


The older I get, and the more I am immersed in this parenting journey, the more and more I value integrity.  I believe that if I can instill this value into my kids, then so many other character traits I’m trying to instill into them will come more naturally.

But what does integrity look like? Consider these quotes as they relate to integrity…

  • Live your life in such a way that if others were to speak badly of you, no one would believe them.
  • Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching. – C.S. Lewis
  • Never stop doing your best just because someone doesn’t give you credit.
  • Wrong is wrong, even when it helps you.

In the day to day living, I often tell my kids this, “If your teacher was here in this room, would you be making the same choices (acting this same way)?” This is usually because they are in middle school and throwing a fit like they are a preschooler. This makes them stop and remember they do have a choice in that moment.

We also just concluded 8 weeks of having weekly parent interviews for my daughter’s sex ed class. Fun dinner conversations, for sure! But her last question asked for advice to stand up to peer pressure. So I told her she should choose her values, and then ‘live her life in such a way that if others were to speak badly of her, no one would believe them’. To which she rolled her eyes and said, “You want me to write all that? Don’t you have a shorter answer?” Ha! Nope!

I wanted to answer: Nope, my dear! Resisting peer pressure is hard, it is something that you have to build within you, but fight for integrity. Keep integrity your goal, your focus — pretty please?! I don’t know how to guide you through these tough upcoming years, but I will try and model integrity, and be here for you with unconditional love, forever and always, and no matter  what.  And if you slip, I will even throw in a bucketful of grace, and remind you of second chances. We all need them.

Then, I went and wrote the quote on her bathroom mirror with an expo marker. But maybe I should trace it with a sharpie. Or maybe I’ll have my friend Lisa @thecopperanchor make me a cute sign!

My last thoughts on integrity? Well, I think Jackson Brown said it best, “Live your life so that when your children think of fairness and integrity, they think of you.” It starts with you.

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1 Comment »

  1. Marykate

      on February 9, 2015 7:17 am

    Thank you for this Cathy! It is so nice to have a roadmap for us Moms with the teen and tween years looming on the horizon! You live and breathe integrity and so I am certain your children will as well. It is not what we say, it is what we do that they notice.


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