As a parent, you have the wonderful, and often tear-inducing job of molding the character of another human being. It can be a very difficult task, but nothing is more rewarding than watching your child grow, develop, and contribute to society to make the world a better place. That is exactly what a young man from Beaumont, Texas has done when he found a wallet containing cash and decided to return it.
High School Student Finds Wallet with $1,500 Cash and Returns It
When a 17-year-old high school student from Beaumont, Texas, named Kameron Grigsby, found a wallet containing $1,500 cash in a shopping cart, he could have chosen to pocket the money, to spend on anything from lunch to new football equipment and no one would be the wiser. But, that’s not what Grigsby decided to do. Instead, he brought the wallet to his manager, as he always does with lost and forgotten items.
Grigbsy, a football player at Central High School, was working at the local HEB as a parking lot attendant when he discovered the wallet in an abandoned shopping cart.
When asked about the wallet containing $1,500 he said “I turned it in. My first mind was this could be somebody’s bill money, car note, house note or mortgage.” 
It is clear through his actions that Grigsby is a very honest young man, with a support system of family, friends and coaches who have raised him to always do the right thing.
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Of this, Grigsby says “You can always do the right thing like our coach says, the right way. You don’t always have to go astray. Stay on the right path, and stay focused.” 
Instilling good values and integrity may seem like a daunting task when faced with all of the other responsibilities of caring for a child, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many ways that you can incorporate these teachings into your day-to-day life with your child.
What Parenting Experts Say About Teaching Your Kids Integrity
- Know what you stand for so that your child can follow suit
Specialist Michele Borba states “Parents with clearly identified moral convictions are more likely to raise good kids. Because their kids know what their parents stand for and why they do, their kids are more likely to adopt their parents’ beliefs” .
In order to teach your child strong moral values, you need to have a clear idea of what it is that you stand for. You can start by making a list of the beliefs and moral issues that mean the most to you. Make sure that these are not just beliefs that you wish your child to have, but that they are things that you actually believe in yourself. This will help to form a basis with which to raise your child.
- Teach your child about choices and consequences
It is normal for many children to rebel against their parents. Forcing a child to do something, such as cleaning their room, will lead them to believe that they live in an unjust world, full of mean parents forcing them to do things. Whereas if you give your child a choice, by saying “If you choose not to tidy your room, you will not be able to watch your favorite television program tonight” this teaches them that rewards and consequences don’t just happen, they are chosen. By doing this, you are giving your child the gift of empowerment.
- Teach your child what integrity looks like
It is not new knowledge to say that children learn through example. Whether your child is mimicking you, friends at school, or celebrities on TV, everything that he or she sees is making a big impact. So, every time that you tell a white lie, flake on a commitment, or dodge a situation because you’re afraid of the consequence, you’re letting your child know that this is an appropriate way to live. Of course, we all make mistakes every once in awhile, and the best way to handle that is to own up to it, and teach your child how to do the right thing, and tackle a situation honestly.
- Teach your child that “no” doesn’t mean “I don’t love you”
Many parents are afraid to say “no” to their children because they believe that it will come across as harsh, or cold, which may either staunch the passion of their child or cause an even bigger tantrum. But it’s important to teach your child that “no” is not the same thing as “I don’t love you”.
Parenting expert Suzanne Gelb says “By doing this, you’ll teach your child that the word “no” is not a “bad word.” “No” is a word that can keep you safe and protected. “No” is your friend. With this lesson in place, your child can become the kind of person who can say: “No, I don’t need a third slice of pie.” “No, I’m not ready to have sex yet.” “No, drugs aren’t my thing”
You can’t control every aspect of your child’s life, but it is possible to instill good values, integrity, and honesty in your child’s day-to-day activities. With a whole lot of work and a little bit of luck, you will have a child like Kameron Grigsby, who will chose to do the right thing when faced with a big decision.
- Dr. Michele Borba. Seven Ways to Build Strong Character and Integrity in Children. Retrieved on September 7, 2017 from http://micheleborba.com/seven-tips-to-build-strong-character-and-help-kids-stand-up-for-their-moral-beliefs/
- Suzanne Gelb Ph.D., JD. (March 12, 2015). Parents: Three Lessons You Must Teach Your Kids. Retrieved September 7, 2017 from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/all-grown/201503/parents-three-lessons-you-must-teach-your-kids
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