We all know the importance of trust and integrity in our relationships. There is no place where that is more important than in the relationship that we have with our family members and especially our children. Warren Bennis said in his book that integrity “is the one quality that cannot be acquired but must be earned.”
It is as Stephen Covey talks about, like a bank account. We build it a little at a time by what we say and do. We can make withdrawals too, by not living up to our word or doing what we say we are going to do. Interestingly though, like in a construction project, it is easier to tear something down than it is to build it up. In regard to our children, they come into the world trusting us to the fullest. They depend on us for everything. So we want to do everything possible to maintain that trust and belief in our integrity.
How do we maintain and build that relationship? By saying what we mean and mean what you say – everyday. Our position of leader of the family is based on our ability to be consistent with our word. By not threatening an act you have no intention of following through on, by following through on every rule you have set and agreed to with your family, will allow you to grow the respect for each other in the family and set an example that others are willing to follow.