Modesty is an important characteristic to teach kids while their developing and learning behaviors. It is often the case that the lack of modesty can be the cause of behavior that can negatively affect others. Also, those kids that do not appreciate the value of modesty will most likely not understand why it is an important feature. What is modesty? The meaning of modesty is when a person is unassuming about their accomplishments, abilities, or even socio-economic background. When someone refrains from boasting about themselves it is the definition of modesty. Modesty matters and to better understand its importance we will further discuss it in this article.
Very few children are naturally modest, most kids have an innate need to boost their own ego around others. This is typically seen as early on when kids compete in games and have a sense of the feeling and drive to win the game. This is usually when they learn the feeling surrounding winning and losing. It is fine to feel good in those circumstances; however, kids typically take it a step further. There is often phrases used like, “I’m so much better than you at this game, you will never win!” Many parents allow this type of speech during a game and feel that this is a time when being immodest is permissible. This might not be the best decision to considering the message it sends kids.
It might be true that one player is superior at the game than the other, but boasting about that fact is not how the game is won or lost. In these circumstances parents, coaches, and teachers should instead reinforce good behavior and explain the value of good sportsmanship. In fact, good sportsmanship is a great way to define modesty and teach good lessons. Kids should aim to let the game speak for itself and not confuse healthy competition with bullying behavior.
The value of modesty is not just surrounding sports and other games, but includes many other aspects of life. In order to fully understand this it is important to first appreciate the idea of empathy. Empathy is to have a feeling for when others are feeling hurt or sad – it’s a basic realization that your actions or words have the ability to affect others. Therefore, it is not good behavior to engage in actions that can hurt others. When a child is learning this concept, he is usually taught to think about how he would feel if someone did,that to him. When he thinks that he would not feel good, then he is asked to reflect about how the other child might feel. This helps reinforce good behavior, while suppressing bad behaviors.
Modesty is a slightly more complex characteristic for younger children to fully grasp and therefore needs to be introduced carefully. The difficulty in explaining modesty is because in many ways it is counter intuitive for kids to be unassuming regarding an ability or other positive attribute. In fact, kids have a hard time with the modesty meaning because they are proud of the things most adults would be modest about and they want to share those things with friends. However, when kids begin to comprehend that their boasting about their grades, good looks, new toys, and more might make other kids feel bad because they do not have those things or cannot perform as well then they will start to understand how to define modest behavior. This is a great way to begin to introduce modern modesty in a world that values sharing of all aspects of life.
As children get older and enter middle school, there is a constant struggle to fit in and more of a sense of being self aware about their appearance. Many boys and girls will make comments to their friends about their own fitness, hair styles, good look attributes, this is a natural part about becoming self aware. However, those kids without the perfect hair and fit bodies can have a reduced self esteem because of these comments. This is an example of where modesty would be important for kids that age to exhibit. Most kids taking a modesty survey that age will not even identify comments about their hair, physical fitness, or other physical attributes to be a matter of modesty. The reverse is actually true and a modest individual would not raise a topic of discussion surrounding their positive attributes, regardless of what they may be referencing.
Clearly being modest and starting at a young age is valuable to help reduce harm to others that might feel bad, but modesty is also tremendously positive for those exercising it. As a child gets older and recognizes that things in life can change and sometimes occur without regarding to expectations or the past, being modest helps guard oneself from the potential of disappointment. For example, talking about how great you are when running for a school student election can backfire if you do not win the election, rather it is more valuable to keep the discussions about issues and facts. Everyone recognizes it is positive for a person to win an election and people vote for those they believe will be positive for the job. Modesty will help guide that individual to a rewarding personal space that allows them to keep focused on the job at hand and not the surrounding expectations.
When teachings modesty and introducing the various aspects of this complex characteristic it is important to warn against false modesty. This is a deviation from the positive attributes of the characteristic to a twisted negative version. When a kid only considers the benefits others will reveal and the positive others will see in him for being modest is not the motivation for being modest. Being modest is not a means to an end, however, at the same time it is a positive attribute in other that deserves to be respected. False modesty can occur when an individual wants the respect for being modest and makes an effort to highlight their modesty. This often happens when a person takes about how modest he was in a situation instead of just letting that circumstance come and go.
The value of modesty is further understood by kids as they begin to learn how to implement their adaptation of modesty. Many kids have a modesty definition that is similar shyness – this id different but kids grasp the quiet aspect of this characteristic. The first stages of fully understanding it can be tough, also there might even be a resistance to re frame from boasting about things. The resistance is rooted in the fear that others will not recognize their accomplishments or see the positive attributes they posses. However, soon kids learn this is not the case and others will still celebrate their accomplishments and give them praise for positive things. The difference is that the praise and congrats are not preempted. Once kids learn this in the context of being taught modestly, they should receive a great way to adapt modesty into their personality.
The attribute of modesty is valuable to teach our kids and help reinforce. It is an aspect in personalities that can contribute to a more understanding and positive social environment. The rules of modesty are definitely being rewritten in the age of social media and sharing. The issue is that kids a sharing photos and updates of their lives that might often be immodest, even though those are the events in that child’s life. For example, sharing photos of a Sunday afternoon of picture from your boat might not be modest. However, pictures are one thing but the comment caption is where the immodesty can be reveled. If that same photo is posted with the kid writing, “enjoying the day on my boat, too bad for those stuck on land!” This is clearly not modest behavior and is not necessary, whereas sharing a photo from a boat is fine.. The subtle differences re things that kids develop and learn over time, but parents should be mindful that things shared and written on social media can also be hurtful and immodest.
Parenting and teaching about character are difficult for any parent. It is vital that as parents we focus on not only talking to our children about these matters, but also demonstrate by example. The power of teaching a lesson in so valuable; however, showing examples and incorporating modesty into your own life is more impact-ful. Showing children that you also are modest and value this attribute will help create a positive re-enforcement of this incredibly important character attribute.