Raising honest children starts from the time they are little. If you do not instill a sense of what’s correct and the importance of integrity when they are very young, what do you think they will be like as teenagers?
You’re going to make mistakes as a new parent, and that’s okay. Rather than panicking, keep the following tips in mind.
Ensure your children understand the consequences of lying. Do not fold if they get caught in a lie–be steadfast about their punishment, such as a week of no television or time with friends. Staying true to their punishment is a great way to teach that the consequences far outweigh the benefits of lying. If they don’t get punished for lying or you “shorten the sentence,” what message do you think that sends?
Stress The Importance Of Asking Questions
Impart this wisdom to your kids: if they are thinking about lying, ask themselves some questions first. Good questions to ask include “Will I be able to look the person I am lying to in the eye?”, “What is my gut telling me to do?”, and “Will I be able to sleep at night or look at myself in the mirror knowing I have lied?”
Reward honesty, as truth-telling isn’t always the easiest thing. Make sure your kids know you are proud of them for telling the truth, even if it gets them in trouble. For example, you could say, “Well, lying equals a week of no computer time and no texting friends, but because you were honest, you can play on the computer this Thursday and Friday.” Be a good model of truth-telling as well–if you are not an honest person, how can you raise honest children?
Keep these tips in mind…and enjoy raising children who are honest with you!