Using simple ways to help children realize what they do TO THEMSELVES when they make a wrong choice vs. a right choice is the first building block of integrity. Helping them to understand the dynamics of their inner world and how they feel, think and have body reactions serves as a lifelong guide for strengthening integrity. Conscience is based in the mind/body/emotions.
Begin by suggesting to a child after she/he makes a wrong choice: “Notice how you feel inside when you made that choice. When I make a choice that is not a good one, I feel bad and have a tense knot feeling in my (name body part like heart or stomach, etc.). Where do you feel tense inside?”
Next, point out to child when she/he made a good choice. Ask her/him how she/he felt inside. Explain that when we make choices, we create how we feel inside ourselves. So a bad choice feels bad and a good choice feels good.”
Use artwork. Ask child to color on paper what colors show up in the body if a bad choice is made….show what that would look and FEEL like if it could be seen as colors. Then do the same on another sheet of paper to show colors of good choices and how that FEELS in the body.
Encourage children with every step and interaction on right and wrong choices. Keep a chart with stickers for good choices that the child can use to build confidence by seeing the success.