Teaching Children About Honesty is a tough topic we must address as parents at one point or another. Some kids seem to pick up an understanding of honesty fairly quickly. Others need a little more time and attention to fully grab the difference between the truth and a lie, and why we need, to be honest. These activities, videos, books, and worksheets on honesty will help you make the job easier.
As parents teaching children about honesty falls on our shoulders
In today’s word we can not rely on the certainty and safety of the “it takes a village” mindset on raising children. We must take a stand and teach our children about honesty and other important topics ourselves. You know when the time has come for these big life lessons when well you see the need first hand. For me, it was when my oldest started lying then instead of fussing up like she did when she was little when asked if she was lying. She had begun to lie to me and I was heartbroken. That is where the original Teaching Children About Honesty post and printable came up on my site Upside Down Kids. Since it went live this has helped over 50,000 families teach children about honesty and now it has been updated and revised to help even more!
When it comes Character traits you want to teach your child this is most likely at the top of your list. As parents, it is our job to teach our children, to be honest with us and others. Without being honest, no relationship your child finds will flourish. Somehow sneaking that candy bar when mom is not looking becomes so much more. Only What do you do about it all? Do you yell, scream, or punish them in hopes they will learn? Or do you take the time to talk to them and get them to understand how lying affects others?
What is honesty?
Honesty is telling the truth and acting truthfully.
Teaching children about honesty, involves a lot of talking about what honesty really is. Talk to your child about how honesty is being a good friend and not hiding things, twisting words to get another into trouble, or taking something without asking. Friendships are built on honesty and trust.
What does the bible say about Honesty?
Honesty guides good people;
dishonesty destroys treacherous people. (NLT)
The Lord detests lying lips,
but he delights in those who tell the truth.(NLT)
Talk about honesty
Sometimes just sitting down with your child for a nice long talk makes a world of a difference but it can be hard to start that conversation. The key is to start with open-ended questions.
A few questions to ask:
What is a lie?
Give me an example of a lie. A truth?
Who do you know that is honest?
How do you feel when someone lies to you?
Cheating is a lie. How do you feel when you play a game with someone that is cheating? Find more on dealing with kids and cheating.
Video connections for honesty
Teaching Honesty with Games
Go Fishing For Honesty
A classic game of go fish required honesty from players on whether they have the card asked for. Ask each child how they would feel if one of the other players lied about the cards they had? Then challenge everyone to play around without telling the truth. What happens? It does not take long for the point of this game to get across as children struggle to get matches when everyone lies and says they do not have the card. Children quickly learn no one wins when we lie. Now have everyone play with half of the players lying and a half telling the truth. The game takes an unfair shift. Talk about how this unfairness affects everyone. Repeat with giving everyone directions, to tell the truth when asked if they have a card. When everyone tells the truth everyone wins by having fun and the game can come to a conclusion with a winner.
Demonstrate how you can not take back a lie
For this experiment, you need ice cream, salt, and chocolate frosting. have your child taste the ice cream. What does it taste like? Now dump salt on the ice cream. What does it taste like now? Last try and cover the lie with chocolate syrup. What does the ice cream taste like now? Talk to your child about how you can not make dishonesty go away by trying to cover it up.
Talk about Honesty you see in daily life.
Did someone return your wallet? Take moments to talk about real life integrity. By giving your child concrete examples as they happen in real life you open their eyes to the true meaning of honesty.
Did you see someone do something dishonest? Talk to your child about what would have been a better choice. When you see someone display honest behavior talk about why what they did was so good and how you child can do the same. Nothing beats real life examples for teaching children about honesty.
Be honest with your children.
We lead by example. We need, to be honest with our children if we want them to be honest with us. Sometimes honesty is though here are a few ways, to be honest with your kids even when it is, though.
Be open with your child. Take a moment to tell them about a time you told a lie and how it ended poorly for you. As you tell your child your story talks about what you would have done differently and why you thought at the time you were making the best choice. Remind your child that no one is perfect not even you but, that doesn’t mean that we should not try to be the best we can.
You may want to come clean about the easter bunny. For us one part of teaching the children honestly is, to be honest with them even about things many parents find the lie to be no big deal all in good fun.
Free printable honesty work packet.
This printable pack included cards you can use for rewards or to decorate a character journal as you study character with your children. Bible memory verse Proverbs 12:22 included in NLT, NIV, ESL, KJV, and NASB. Truth vs. lie worksheet and questions. Teaching Children About Honesty is a tough job but we can help with this great free printable made to help you discuss and work through the topic of Honesty with your child.
What to do when your child lies to you.
As parents, we often blame ourselves when a child lies to us. If only we had taught them better, set a better example. One thing you need to remember is that all kids go through this and it does not mean you did anything wrong. It does mean how you react next will affect the future.
As parents, we must build up our children to help them learn and grow without breaking them down. when your child lies to you remain calm. Discuss with your child why honesty and truthfulness are vital to keeping communication open. If you can not trust your child, to be honest with you it becomes impossible to allow them the freedom they want.
Get to the root of the lie.
Often we lie out of fear. The same goes for your child. Address the lie and discuss the outcome your child feared. Did they worry they wouldn’t be allowed to do something they wanted? Discuss with your child how rules protect them. Be honest with your child with why fear for their safety effects the rules and how lies make it harder to trust that your child will be safe. Was it because they feared they would be punished? Talk to your child about how much less the punishment would have been had they been honest with you about choices they had made.
Understand why we lie
There is a lot going on in the. Human mind and understanding the science behind why we lie and how it happens. The book The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone–Especially Ourselves is a great start.
More for you…
Often when your child starts lying the pick up the habit of sneaking and taking things that they should not. It is a tough situation. I now I have been there. This unit on teaching children about stealing can help you take this lesson further if you need it.
Need help with more tough topics?
Want to build your child’s faith? Check out teaching children to pray.