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Trustworthiness and Honesty
3rd Six Weeks Character Trait
7 Tips for Raising Honest Children
Honesty is a learned trait. Children learn how and why to be honest from the important people in their lives. It is never too soon for a lesson on the value and importance of honesty.
Encourage honesty. A moderately disappointing situation may be the perfect opportunity for you to invite your child to share their true feelings about the situation. Assure them that they can tell you exactly how they feel and promise them that you won’t get mad… and then don’t get mad. Instead invite them to talk about why they are upset. Don’t over react. Be prepared to hear whatever they share and be willing to explore their feelings together.
Model Honesty. This is by far the most important piece to teaching honesty!
•Don’t lie to them
•Don’t ask them to lie for you
•Don’t lie around or in front of them
•Be honest!!! Don’t lie!!!
Presume honesty. Don’t ask what you already know. For example, don’t ask whether or not they did something that you already have certainty that they did. This sets them up to fail Instead, address the issue head on and get to the:
•why they made their bad choice
•how they could have handled the situation better
•how they will be expected to address the current situation from this point forward
Clarify honesty. A “white lie” is still a lie. However, some situations may require a dose of kindness or a “brightened outlook” prior to responding. Some honesty without consideration can sound hurtful. Children simply need to learn how to be kind and honest at the same time. For example, in the case where a child receives a gift they do not like, it may be best to simply say, “thank you”.
Applaud honesty. Sometimes telling the truth can be very challenging and fearful. Praise a child for telling the truth, especially when facing harsh consequences or in tough situations.
Endorse Honesty. Take advantage of a lie as a teaching moment instead of simply scolding and grounding the child. Explore together alternative approaches to a situation
Talk about honesty. It is best to address it. There is no reason to wait until honesty becomes an issue or even a question. Honesty is a great topic for nearly any age child. When done correctly, it may even increase respect for the parent and deepen the bond with the child