Cultivating Humility in Children

The educator Tim Elmore observes in his article “What’s the Deal with Arrogance?” that our culture values and rewards arrogance. Arrogance leads in business to more customers, in politics to more votes, and in sports to higher scores. I think that, if we are honest, we often think about successful people as those who can push themselves out in front of the pack.

Believers are certainly not immune from the value that broader culture places on arrogance. At least, I know that I’ve been bitten by the arrogance bug from time to time! God keep us from this malady!

Instead of succumbing to arrogance, we should cultivate humility. Humility demonstrates as much interest in other people as we have in ourselves. Humility leads to gratitude, appreciation, and contentment. Here are several ways that we can teach our children humility:
• Put children in situations where they must use the knowledge they have or have access to. It is easy to know everything when you don’t actually have to do anything about what you know.
• Expose children to contexts and questions that show them what they don’t know. Sometimes people have limited exposure, and so limited perspective. Ask questions that are beyond what they know.
• Require chores. When children do not need to do chores we send the message that their time is too valuable to spend on menial jobs. This transmits the unintended message that children themselves are too important to do menial jobs.
• Limit the use of social media. The culture of social media promotes arrogance. Limit the use of social media.

Gerald Miller

This article was adapted from the Post, a weekly update that Faith Builders Christian School distributes to patrons.