One of the greatest challenges for parents is to teach children values in a way that understands why they should demonstrate them. The value of honesty, for example, is a moral principle that drives people to do the right thing, even if there are no witnesses to the fact. Here’s how you can teach honesty to a child and why it’s so important to do it from a young age.
The importance – and the challenge – of honesty and lies
Raising honest children is every parent’s goal. It becomes a challenge because in their innocence children tend to take what attracts them or lie to get out of trouble.
According to studies conducted by Brock University, lying is a normal process of a child’s cognitive development. Research shows that this capability is evident around age 2, accentuating after age 4. In addition, they add that most lie to hide mischief and that the rate of lies is maintained during childhood.
How to correct a child’s lies?
Understanding why kids lie and the process they go through doing so will help you take the most appropriate steps. Remember that your goal is to show the advantage of telling the truth, and teaching them this clear and firm message: lying has negative consequences.
Honesty is an indispensable condition for human relationships, with family, friends, and with themselves, and they should realize this. Although it’s not as simple as teaching grammar, math, or other topics, there are several strategies that will help you grow it in your minds.
- Teach by example
Children tend to imitate adults, especially their parents, with those who spend more time. Studies conducted at Yale University have shown that during the first 5 years children imitate adults in positive and negative habits. Similarly, other research conducted at the University of London reveals that this faculty of learning from what they observe and hear has been developing since the age of 18 months.
In addition, the university in Singapore conducted another study that showed that a parent’s lies can affect their children’s future behavior as they grow up. The famous saying that prays: “Words convince, but the example drags” is quite true in this case. Practicing honesty on a daily basis as parents, from the smallest to the most essential details, will make it easier for them to adopt it among their principles.
In this sense, avoid lying to get out of trouble in front of them, whether it’s when I pick up the phone, receive an unwelcome visit, or excuse yourself in some way to get out of an awkward situation. In this way, they will be able to learn to face situations and face matters as honest people, of course without falling into recklessness.
- Encourage honesty for children
To convince them that being honest is advantageous, there must be some incentive behind it. It shouldn’t necessarily be a tangible prize or money. It’s important that they learn that lying or stealing isn’t right, it’s not funny, or useful. Make them understand that if they are honest, they will earn your trust and respect.
Through positive discipline you can pass on that this is a matter of serious consideration. Once you’ve discussed honesty with your children, reward their good behavior. In most cases, punishment is not the solution. It emphasizes the positives because in this way they will also gain more confidence.
- Avoid common mistakes that lead them to be dishonest
Children should understand that it’s best, to be honest from the start. In this sense, some common mistakes are often made in our efforts to teach them to be honest:
- Avoid giving them a chance to lie by asking questions whose answers you know.
- Give them the ability to confess their actions and show a certain level of understanding, this will be of great help.
- Show them the difference between being honest and being reckless. You don’t want them to confess family or private matters in front of others.
- He asks for his opinion on different issues, helping them reason about how some people feel that the child admires and wants if he tells lies, or how everyone benefits if he speaks the truth.
- Avoid telling them“white” lies or exaggerations, such as” “if you don’t eat the salad, I’ll call the police.”
- Stories, books, and songs
What better way to teach your children than to use entertaining resources? There is a wide variety of stories, books, and even songs that help children learn about honesty. These are all fun ways to learn values for them, they don’t even realize it when they do.
Applying these simple keys, your children will not only put this value into practice but more than that, they will make it a habit and learn to be responsible for their actions. Gradually, your children will be training their conscience with values as important as honesty. It is the duty of all to promote these principles so that society is that long-awaited welfare space.
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