This month Lincoln School is focusing on the hard character trait- Wisdom. The dictionary defines wisdom as the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight. It is observing life experiences and sharing the understanding you have gained with others. The opposite of wisdom is foolishness, making life choices without careful thought or planning. While many say that wisdom only comes with age, it is possible to help children acquire wisdom far before they get old. Here are some ideas to help them to make wise choices.
- Be a model. Aim to be mature and thoughtful in your own decision-making, and explain your thought process when appropriate. Show how you make decisions even when purchasing or deciding what to do.
- Teach them to STOP and THINK. Teach your children to pause and consider their choices. If it’s a choice related to food, ask them to consider whether it’s a healthy food. If it’s a choice relating to relationships, teach them to question if what they are about to do is kind and fair. Would they want another person to do the same to them?
- Give them a standard to live by. Once your child has learned to stop and think, they need a reliable standard of behavior and choices to check themselves against.
- Teach them humility. While a completely separate character trait, humble people are ones who realize they don’t have all the answers and seek wise advice when faced with a significant choice. Work to instill humility in your children, and to seek wisdom/advice from trusted sources such as a grandparent or teacher when you are not available.