“Honesty is the best policy.” However, honesty seems to be one of the biggest problems in society today. How would you teach your child honesty?
We all want our children to grow honest and truthful in words and in deeds. We never want them to hide, steal, cover-up or lie. However, some parents believe that kids lie no matter how they train them not to. As parents, they easily scare them with anger and punishment. This is one mistake that parents make.
At times, parents were guilty of setting their kids to lie. How? When they are scared of you, the more they would likely hide the truth. On the other hand, when you talk to them without threats, they would be more truthful with you.
Here are ways you can teach your child the value of honesty early in life:
Be a model for your children
Don’t expect your kids to be honest, if you can’t show them that you are one. What your children see and hear from you would serve as their examples today and in the future. Be a role model in honesty in words and in deeds. What you do and say matters a lot. A simple lie that they see from you would mark greatly in their minds. After some time, they would practice dishonesty in your home, in school or community because you taught them to be like you.
Don’t label them a liar
If you catch your child telling a lie, don’t ever brand them a liar! Don’t shame your child by calling them this word. Instead, tell your children, “You were honest with me, but you’re becoming different.” Don’t call your child a liar because it has some psychological effect that would make them more to be like that. They would act defensive and eventually, they would live up to the label.
Don’t try to offend them by asking questions that you already know the answer
When you already know that your children haven’t studied yet for the exam, don’t try to ask “Have you studied yet?”
“It just sets the stage for a lie, and for a kid to think, ‘Hey, I’m going to take a chance here, and maybe I’ll get away with it.'” according to Jerry L. Wyckoff, a family therapist and co-author of “How to Discipline Your Six- to Twelve-Year-Old.”
Rather than asking them questions with obvious answers, tell them that “I know that you haven’t studied yet,” or “show me your answers on the assignments after you worked on them.” You should also not say “I know that you’re telling a lie.”
Avoid emphasizing bad behaviors
When your children lied to you in the past, don’t remind them that “You also lied last week.” Bringing up the past mistakes would only make them more guilty and live with their bad behavior. When your kid admitted a mistake, make sure to praise them for telling the truth. This would make them more willing to be honest than not.
Let your kids know that lying won’t work
Remind your children that telling a lie or hiding the truth would not free them from liabilities. It would not even make them more honorable and a better person. Let them become aware that lying or dishonesty comes with a consequence.
About the author:
Franz Lee is an American writer, devoted mom and an avid fan of adventure. At home, she makes sure that her children are happy and healthy. She shares her thoughts and knowledge on raising kids the right way through her blogs, website, and e-books. She is also a contributor to www.addictions.com.