“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”
– C.S. Lewis
At Athlos schools, we teach children the importance of 12 traits that we call Performance Character traits. Our Performance Character pillar recognizes the deep connection between these character traits and success. The development of Performance Character is integrated into every learning opportunity, allowing students to experience this connection first hand. Traits like leadership, integrity, humility, and optimism become a lens through which students view their learning as about more than grades, but as learning for life.
Like all important lessons, reinforcing learning at home is a key factor to success. One of the best ways for parents to do this is to positively model the traits at home and to encourage trait development. In our 12-part ‘Performance Character at Home’ blog series, we offer some simple, yet effective ways to support children’s Performance Character development. In this blog, we look at humility.
What is humility?
Athlos defines humility as: Letting accomplishments speak for themselves.
Why is humility important?
Having humility creates several effects that are crucial to the success of students and their social-emotional development. These include the cultivation of meaningful relationships, a willingness to be vulnerable, and the ability to practice gratitude. Humility makes each of these possible. A lack of humility places too much value on the self. This leads to either an inflated sense of self-worth or shame. Humility enables students to value the contributions of others as a necessary component of their own learning process and to realize that there’s always more to learn and someone to learn from.
How can I help my child develop humility?
Modeling humility is essential for children to be able to understand what it looks like. This can be as simple as being humble when winning a family board game, letting your accomplishments speak for themselves, or praising the work and efforts of others in front of your child. Here are some other great ways to practice at home:
- Find volunteer opportunities in your community that you can do with your child. Whether it’s taking time to walk dogs at the shelter, visiting an individual in a nursing home or assisted living facility, or participating in neighborhood cleanup events, giving back without the expectation of a tangible reward will teach your child to feel the intrinsic rewards of doing good.
- Coach them when they respond to an achievement in a boastful manner. While celebrations of accomplishments are important, remind them that sometimes, for instance after a sports game win, acting boastfully can hurt the feelings of those on the opposing team.
- Encourage them to encourage others and to find joy in the success of others. Point out when a family member, sibling, or friend does something worth praise and encourage them to acknowledge their good work. In time, it will become easy for them to recognize the work, efforts, and accomplishments of others on their own and to acknowledge this.
- Reinforce the fact that just because they were not praised or celebrated for an accomplishment, that does not make the achievement any less important.
- Have a trait conversation with your child asking questions like:
- How did you show humility today?
- How was this trait important during your classroom instruction or on the turf?
- How could you show humility at school, at home, etc.?