Truthfulness is perhaps one of the most difficult things to teach our children.
Most parents would agree that honesty and truthfulness are important qualities to develop in our children; however, the reality is that we are all, to some degree, less than completely honest in our day-to-day lives.
Most of us tell our children stories we consider to be harmless, like the ones about Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy, but some parents believe that even this kind of storytelling is a form of dishonesty. In fact, some children are completely shattered and disillusioned when they find out the truth behind these stories.
Some parents consider it acceptable to lie about their children’s ages in order to get reduced prices. Some even ask their children to lie when asked their age. Then there’s the question of “white lies” – how do we explain to our children that sometimes it’s “okay” not to say the truth?
If it is not always easy for adults to know when telling the truth is the right thing to do, imagine how confusing it must be for our children. They know we value honesty and expect them to tell the truth, yet they witness our inconsistency in telling the truth.
Yet despite everything, they still persist on lying, create consequences for their behavior. Withdraw a privilege like watching TV or playing with friends. The important thing is that they know beforehand that every time they lie, that privilege will be withdrawn. That way they will be choosing their behavior and thus the consequence.
Published in: Family