We always teach our kids that “honesty is the best policy”. But saying it and having them understand what that means are two different things. We can teach kids honesty by our own example and by using some tactics to talk out situations where your child’s honesty will be taught and tested. Read on for a few basic ways we can instill honest values in our children.
Telling the Truth
Kids may not want to always tell the truth or the full story in a tricky situation. Perhaps they fear they will be punished or put in “time-out” if they are honest. Or, maybe their big brother or sister threatened them to cover for a lie. Sometimes, kids make up stories or scenarios based on their growing imagination. Whatever the case may be, we must teach and constantly remind our kids that being honest and telling what really happened is the right choice. Usually, the truth will come out eventually and cause even more issues. Yes, your child may have to suffer the consequences of his actions, but that will also teach him to do the right thing the next time. It is worse to do something wrong and then lie about it than to do something wrong and confess what happened. Remind your kids that they can always tell you the truth and they should not fear your reaction.
Taking Something That Is Not Theirs
Stealing is another way of being dishonest. Whether your child took something from a store, a friend’s house, or school, or hid his sister’s toy, taking something that isn’t his is not honest. Teach your child that in order for something to be his belonging, it must be paid for or given to him. If he wants what his friend has, he must ask to share. Sometimes, young kids make mistakes or are still learning the ropes. If your child swipes something from a store, bring him back and have him apologize to the clerk. He will learn why stealing is wrong and how it affects others. Kids will learn to understand the value of personal belongings when they realize that everyone cannot have anything they want at any time. This is what makes things valuable to us.
Saying How You Feel
While we encourage our kids to tell the truth, sometimes saying everything on our mind is not the best way to go. This can lead to kids being inadvertently hurtful to others. If your child doesn’t like his sister’s dress, he should not tell her it is ugly. Teach your children to find something positive to say about others or not say anything at all. Of course, kids should be honest about how they feel about others and situations they are in, but encourage them to talk to you or a close family member before they blurt out something they can’t take back. In time, your kids will learn how to deal with others directly in an effective and positive manner.
What do you do to teach your children the value of honesty? For more articles like this, please visit All My Children Daycare.
By: Melissa A. Kay