• Teaching Your Kids to be Honest

  • While kids are young, they are constantly learning new things, and some of those aren’t always good things. Teaching your kids to act and behave in today’s world is one of the most important parts of raising a child into adulthood, and a main ingredient in that is teaching them honesty. Not all children can be the perfect little angels we dream they would be, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still shape them into successful adults. Here are a few techniques you can use to help teach your kids about honesty:

    Don’t Pry for Answers You Already Know. Instead, let them know you know the answer and talk to them like you would an adult. When asked, “Did you do your homework yet?”, your child might feel pressured to give you the answer they think you want to here, leading them to stretch the truth. However, by simply saying, “Let’s take a look at your homework after dinner,” you’re more likely to force the truth to the surface.

    Discuss “hard truths” and how to avoid “brutal honesty”. Telling the “hard truth” means stepping up and telling the truth, even if the consequences reflect on someone else. This might mean your child knows a friend is cheating at school, but your child didn’t say anything to the teacher. Explain that, while the cheater is their friend, it is important to be honest, and maybe, your child’s honest will inspire others. On the other hand, avoiding “brutal honesty” goes along with the saying, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Remind your child that even if something is true, it shouldn’t be said if it will hurt another person’s feelings. Teach them to put a positive “spin” on things by saying things like, “That’s an interesting outfit,” instead of “That’s an ugly outfit.”

    Always reward the truth. As parents, we tend to have a sixth sense when it comes to our kids lying to us, so if you know your child is telling the truth, reward them for it. Find small ways to show them that honesty is ALWAYS the best policy, even if it’s a simple, “Thank you for being honest.”