All parents want their children to become honest human beings. However, children can tell lies at times or breach their integrity knowingly or unknowingly. If you don’t teach them the importance of honesty as a human value, they may consider lying, deceit or fraud as normal behavioural attributes.
Check out these tips to encourage honesty in your children.
Explanation of Honesty
Honesty is just not about telling the truth. It is also about honour, straightforwardness, trust, sincerity and fairness. When your children understand these values, they will comprehend the complete meaning of honesty better.
Books and Movies
Do you remember your childhood stories ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’ and ‘Pinocchio’? These stories about honesty are still relatable and you can narrate them to your kids. You can read books on moral stories for kids – they are easily available in bookstores, libraries and e-commerce websites.
You can also plan a movie session with your kids to teach honesty. A few recommendations are ‘Willy Wonka & The Charlie Factory’, ‘Nanny McPhee’, ‘Mary Poppins’, etc.
Understanding the Reason for Dishonesty
If your children have been dishonest in some way, don’t jump to conclusions immediately. Allow them to explain their behaviour. Did they tell a white lie because they thought it would hurt someone? Were they scared or embarrassed for some reason?
This will help you to understand their side of the story and determine the right way to deal with them.
Rewards and Consequences
If there is a situation where your children could have lied or cheated easily but chose to be honest about it, they deserve a reward. Give a treat to them, cook their favourite meal or give them some extra screen time.
However, if your children have unacceptably compromised their moral values, then do not hesitate to give them a fair punishment. You can ground them, make them do household chores, restrain their pocket money, etc.
Your children must realise their mistakes. You must enforce the discipline gently but firmly to correct their mistakes.
Be a Role Model
It is easy to preach honesty but the question is whether you incorporate it in your life. Since children learn by observation, you have to model honesty. If they see you being untruthful or unfair, they can question you back about your behaviour.
Honesty is the best policy and your children should imbibe this value from an early age!