Tag Archive | "teach children values"

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.

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Toddler Discipline – Discouraging Materialism In Toddlers

Buying stuff for your toddler is fine, but giving in to his demands all the time can make him materialistic. Here are some toddler discipline tips to help keep your toddler from equating things with happiness.

Set A Good Example

Parents are the best role model for their children. If you want to stop your toddler from developing an insatiable desire for things, let him see you behaving with control and wisdom. Evaluate yourself. Do you shop impulsively? Love buying designer labels? Are you only happy when you have new things? Remember, children like imitating their parents. So if you want to discourage materialism in your toddler, you have to let go of your own materialism.

Window shop together without buying anything to demonstrate that while it is nice to look at store displays, you do not necessarily have to purchase something each time you go to a store. Or, when looking at a catalogue, you can say something like “I like this new flat screen HD TV but our old one still works just fine.”. Explaining these things will help get the message across.

Limit Screen Time

The media, especially TV commercials can pressure toddlers to get the latest robot or shoes. Limit your toddler’s screen time so his exposure to TV commercials and “I want that” mindset is reduced. Record his favorite programs so you can skip the ads. Watch more movies. Discuss the marketing techniques used in commercials with your toddler.

Teach Your Toddler About Money

Believe it or not, a 4-year old can understand the value of money. Give your toddler weekly household chores and an allowance once he finishes them. This will make him realize that money should be earned. Teach your toddler how to use it. Give him a small piggy bank and ask him to save half of his money and half is his to spend as he chooses. If he says “Mommy, I want that toy” at the store, say something like “This costs four dollars. Do you have enough money to pay for it?”.

Do Not Use Things As A Reward

Rewarding good behaviour with buying your toddler something he likes is okay, but it should not be done all the time as this will make him associate the reward with good behaviour which will only cause problems later in life. Use other incentives such as letting him play at the playground a little longer, cooking his favorite food for dinner or reading him an additional bedtime story.

Give Back

Teach your toddler to give back. Ask him to clean out his closet and pick a few toys and clothes to donate to homeless shelters. Let him tag along when bringing food for a sick relative. Help out in a soup kitchen. These activities instil an outlook that will help counteract materialism.

Focus On Things That Matter

Teach your toddler how to express gratitude for the deeper value of things. Make gifts instead of buying them. Explain to your little one how much you value the blanket grandma gave you for your 18th birthday. Spend time with your toddler no matter how busy your schedule is. Play hide and seek. Take afternoon walks. Ride a bicycle. Go on road trips during weekends.

Teaching your toddler that there is more to life than brand-new, modern and cooler stuff is the best way to ensure he does not become materialistic so he can enjoy the true joys of life.

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