Tag Archive | "teaching honesty to children"

How To Teach Children To Be Honest


Honesty is one of the many virtues a toddler must learn. However, it does not always come naturally, it is a value you need to instil in your toddler. Here are some tips on how to teach children to be honest.

Keep Your Toddler Informed

One way how to teach children to be honest is to talk about it. Explain to your toddler what honesty is and why it is important to be truthful even when it is difficult. Talking is a very good way to send the message across. Another way you can teach this value to your little one is to use stories. Look for books about honesty (try “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, “The Berenstain Bears and The Truth” and “Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire”) or make one up. Keep it casual and use simple words your toddler can comprehend.

Walk The Talk

Of course talking about the importance of honesty to your toddler will be useless if you do not lead by example. Remember that toddlers love to imitate their parents, hence, it is very essential that you model honesty. For example, if you tell your toddler you will go to the park later in the afternoon, make sure you follow through. Do not tell a ticket seller that your toddler is younger than he is just so you can save a dollar or get a free seat. Try your best to be straightforward even when it comes to difficult subjects such as divorce, death or illness.

Do Not Ask Questions When You Already Know The Answer

If you are sure your toddler was the one who spilled juice on the floor, do not be tempted to ask “Did you do that?” because your toddler will probably answer “no” because he is scared that if he says “yes”, you will be angry. Instead, say something like “I see you spilled juice on the floor. You know, I will not get mad if you tell me the truth.”. Or better yet, say, “Please clean up your spilled juice.”.

Have A Conversation

Talk to your toddler. Ask questions. Listen to what he has to say. Communicating with your toddler is another effective way to encourage your little one to be honest. Plus, this also gives him reassurance that he can be honest with you without you getting critical or angry.

Avoid Labels

Never call your toddler a liar. It will only make him defensive and lower his self-esteem and over time he may start to believe it. If your toddler lies, do not judge or punish him and say mean things. Emphasize that you are not happy he lied, but you still love him no matter what he has done. Help him see the effects of his misbehaviour and then help him think of a way to make up for it.

Be Careful of Little White Lies

You want your toddler to be honest, but not too straightforward that he says things that could hurt a person’s feelings. Explain to your toddler how to use them and when he can use them. Even if he dislikes the quilt grandma made for him, he has to find something nice to say such as “Thank you for the gift, grandma.” instead of saying “I do not like this blanket, grandma.”.

Praise Your Toddler

Another effective way on how to teach children to be honest is by giving positive reinforcement. Whenever your toddler tells the truth, commend him for a job well done. Saying, “Thank you for telling me the truth. I am very happy.” followed by a hug and a kiss will make your toddler feel good about himself which will motivate him to repeat the behaviour over and over again.

Honesty is one value every toddler must learn at an early age. It is an ongoing process. Just be firm, patient and forgiving in helping your toddler develop the characteristic of being honest.

Posted in Parenting, Toddler DisciplineComments (0)


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