No one wants to be told a lie! Here are a few tips for teaching your child about the importance of honesty:
Lead by example
The best way to teach a child how to be honest is to model honesty. No matter the circumstances, always tell your child the truth — even when it’s the hard truth. If you want respect from your child, you must show them respect as well.
If you want your child to be honest with you, you must prove to them that they can trust you. Children often lie out of fear that their parents may be upset or disappointed. Make an effort to be less reactive when they share upsetting information with you — validate their feelings and express your appreciation for their honesty.
The most effective way to encourage good behavior is to reward good behavior. When your child is honest with you, thank them for their honesty and affirm their efforts. A few ways to respond to their honesty include:
“Thank you for being honest with me. It makes me happy when you’re honest with me!”
“It must have been really nerve-wracking to come clean about that. Thank you for trusting me with that information!”
“I feel respected when you’re honest with me. Thank you, and I love you!”
Mistakes are our greatest lessons! When you’ve caught your child in a lie or they have come clean about something they’ve been withholding from you, turn it into a learning opportunity. Once you have affirmed your child for being honest and validated their experience, you should ask your child to reflect on their choices. Here are a few questions you could ask your child to encourage critical thinking and self-reflection:
“Was anyone hurt by your actions? Who and why?”
“How do you feel when someone has lied to you?”
“How could you have approached this situation differently to achieve a better outcome?”
At The Kangaroo Forest, our childcare professionals strive to create a learning environment supported by kindness and respect for others. We nurture our students’ social and emotional development by encouraging healthy conflict resolution. Interested in learning more about our programs, curriculum, and teaching styles? Schedule a meeting and tour our facilities today!