By Amanda Delamer, MSc, CPCC, ACC
My husband and I always know where our kids stand on any particular topic – they do not hesitate for a second to share what they are feeling, chime in with their two cents or express themselves fully. They don’t know it yet, but they are choosing not compromise on what they value and what they know in their hearts to be true. And wow, they are so honest about it. They are acting with integrity.
As much as we would prefer to be on the same page as we are getting ready to leave the house (or the park, or the pool, or from soccer, or after gymnastics…), we would not change a thing. As a parent, what a gift to witness your children fully and completely owning and expressing what is true for them. They are not concerned about us not liking them or being upset with them – instead, they just let themselves be “all in” with being honest. Whether they know or not, it is them acting with integrity. And while challenging at times, it is so very refreshing.
And when our places of integrity are not in agreement – our little people are amazing at using our own lines right back at us and say with confidence, “it’s okay if we have different opinions” or “we can different opinions”. Love it!
So, when do we start choosing not to live fully in integrity? What makes us decide to not speak up when we disagree with something or someone, or when we are witness to something that we are not okay with? What makes us nod “yes”, when inside we are thinking “heck no!”?
And what gets in the way of us not acting with integrity? For me, I notice that the thoughts of “careful, they might not like you if…” or “don’t rock the boat” or “pick your battles” are frequent saboteur voices that pop up.
Bottom line, when we act with integrity we are making a choice to fully honour ourselves and the people or circumstances we are faced with. Our kids need us to model integrity, and lead by example.
Go forward kidlets! Live with integrity, have a voice, be true to yourself. We will do our best to not ask you to tone it down, and to stay out of your way. Oh, and thank you for modeling integrity for us adults!
Amanda Delamer is a self-awareness and fulfillment coach. Amanda coaches and supports people in living healthy, balanced and joyful lives. She coaches and honours the whole person – mind, body and spirit. Her clients experience fulfillment in all parts of their lives – health, family, relationships, career, and beyond – and they value and appreciate that all parts of their lives are connected, and we all have responsibility in and for the world around us. She lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with her husband and three children.