Teaching Your Child Honor
Have you seen the movie Guardians of the Galaxy? I was watching the movie with my children last night and I noticed that several times the main characters (a talking raccoon bounty hunter, an organic walking tree that only says “I am Groot”, 2 aliens and a human) mention several times to each other, “you have honor.” In the context of the movie, 5 criminals would not automatically be honorable characters, much less candidates for Guardians of the Galaxy.
So, I started thinking, what is honor and how do I teach my children honor? According to Webster’s New World Dictionary, honor is high regard or respect; adherence to principles considered right, integrity; high rank, distinction. Another word for honor might be loyalty – loyalty to individuals and teachings.
8 Principles to Teach Your Child Honor
The first principle of honor we teach our children is honoring God. From the beginning of the Bible to the end, the focus of the Bible is to honor, worship and praise God for His mighty works.
Children are not born with an instinct to honor God. They need training and guidance from parents. I have noticed the older they get (like teens) the more resistant they can be to teaching about honor and respect. This doesn’t mean we give up. We continue to teach them what is right.
Honor your parents
Children need to learn to respect and to have high regard to their parents. Parents are the primary teachers for children. Part of learning is respecting your parents and the values we teach are children. If our children do not learn to honor and respect their parents, they will not value or follow the instruction we give them.
Honor begins with respecting and valuing the instruction of our parents.
Honor your family
More than respecting our parents, we also need to honor to our entire family. Showing honor to your family includes respecting your siblings. Consider the feelings of our siblings before we act and don’t purposefully tease or be inconsiderate to them.
We also show honor to our family when we teach respect for grandparents, aunts & uncles, and other adult family members. Many times grandparents and aunts & uncles are great role models in addition to the parents. Children must learn to respect and honor teaching from these family members too.
Honor your teachers & leaders
Teachers and leaders (such as ministers, principals and coaches) provide instruction and educate our children. Our children should honor and respect these individuals. They should be quiet and listen attentively during instruction. If they have questions or disagreements (older children), children must learn to express their questions and concerns in a respectful manner.
Honor your friends
Honor your friends by showing them loyalty and by keeping your word. In the movie, Guardians of the Galaxy, the 5 friends were loyal to each other. They would save each other’s lives, come back and help each other when the others were in danger..
We need to teach our children to honor and be loyal to their friends. Children often take sides and say hurtful things. Having your friends (even just one friend) be loyal during difficult times makes all the difference.
Honor your country
Our children need to be taught to honor their country. In elementary school, they learn the pledge of allegiance. More than pledging allegiance to our flag, our children must learn a deep love and loyalty to our country. A love for and loyalty to our country comes from learning our history. Parents, please take time to teach your children the important stories and people from American history.
Honor your heritage
We all have a unique heritage. As parents and family, we need to share and teach our children our family traditions. I was recently at a birthday party for one of my son’s friends. This friend’s family had moved to America from Venezuela. I noticed that several times the mom mentioned “we do this because it’s a tradition in Venezuela.” She also did somethings because we do them in America. It was a great way to teach her children their family heritage.
Honor your principles
Honoring your principles includes standing firm in matters of what is right. As parents, we teach are children right and wrong. We teach them to stand firm and adhere to the principles they are taught.
Honoring the principles we have taught them is a culmination of the other 6 principles. When our children honor our principles, they show respect to their parents, family, teachers & leaders, friends, country and heritage.
How do you teach your children honor? What principles of honor are important to you?