When everything is hectic and one day blends into the next, it becomes hard to remember those little things you tell yourself you will teach your kids. You figure it will come up when it does and you’ll deal with it then, right? We totally get that!
As parents, you manage all the roles of being the caregiver, the teacher, the disciplinarian, the entertainer, the chef, the nurse, … and the list goes on and on. Wowzers! We applaud you!
So what happens when you want to teach your children about honesty? This question arises when you start to notice your children telling small fibs because they start to realize certain responses will either get them rewards or punishments. How do you start to make them understand that honesty is always the best policy then?
The answer is to make honesty a priority in your household. What does that mean exactly? Read on for our tips!
Tip #1: Communicate
Make it a point to talk about honesty and being honest, especially when a situation arises to do so. Explain how telling the truth will always be the right path to go down.
Tip #2: Follow-Up
This goes hand-in-hand with a situation when you have to communicate why honesty is the best policy. Always follow-up with a positive message about honesty and then talk about how to go about the situation now that the truth is known. For example, if your child tells the truth about taking someone else’s toy or snack, then talk to them about why that may not be a nice thing to do unless they ask first. Always talk calmly about the situation so they feel comfortable with telling you the truth.
Tip #3: Give Thanks
When your child tells the truth, always thank them first for telling you. This will help them realize that telling the truth prompts a positive response from you. Then deal with the situation after that. Making them feel comfortable and showing appreciation when they tell the truth is key to getting more of the same actions.
Tip #4: Wall Art
A great way to keep honesty a priority is to keep it in sight. What does that mean? Make a large poster or frame a nice image of the word “honesty” or the phrase, “Honesty is the Best Policy” as this will keep it in sight. When these words are in sight, it is easy to remember to acknowledge honesty when it comes up and also is a subliminal reminder for children when they start to recognize words.
Tip #5: Problem-Solution
When your child tells the truth, approach the situation as one that you will both solve together. That way, your child will understand that they will be part of the solution and will not feel ostracized for doing something “wrong,” but rather they will learn to deal with problems with a solution-based mindset. Hopefully they will come to learn that telling the truth is simply the natural thing to do.
Hopefully these tips will come in handy as you navigate this wonderful world of parenting!
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