How To Teach Children to Be Honest

Apr 30, 2014
Today is National Honesty Day!  When kids are little, honesty is usually not a problem.  The word 'blunt' comes to mind. It's as children enter the teenage years that the truth sometimes becomes more elusive.  Here are our 5 tips to help steer your child in the right direction and stay honest. Consequences:  Eventually, your child will lie and you will catch them.  It's important that there be a consequence for this action - an appropriate discipline - so that the child knows it's never worth it to lie again. Live By Your Own Rules:  You are the parent and a role model to your kids.  Make sure that you're not lying either - to them or anyone else.  Your child learns best by following your example. Often, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. 
Reward Truth:  It's easy as a parent to quickly scold wrongdoing, but don't ever forget to reward and praise honesty.  You should especially do this if your child has been caught lying in the past.  This will eventually lead to building self-confidence and reinforce positive behavior.    Do Not Name Call:  If your child has lied, don't become defensive and call them a liar.  This could lead to them truly believing what you've said and living up to that label.  Instead, make sure they know that you don't like lies, but you still love them. Don't Lead A Witness:  Don't ask questions you already know the answer too.  It just sets the stage for a child think they could to take a chance and get away with something.  For example, if you’ve asked your child to clean their room and you know they haven't done so yet, don't ask them "Have you cleaned your room yet?"  Instead, say I see you haven't cleaned your room yet" or "Please show me your room when you've cleaned it up."  Finally, if you're suspicious of your child's statements, don't ask them if they are telling the truth.  The question only creates an opportunity for them to lie again.

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