Training Kids To Be Honest

 

This week in our home school we are talking all about honesty.

We have…

• Talked through scriptures (1 Peter 3:10, Zechariah 8:16)

• Watched a couple short videos about the importance of honesty

• And today I planned on doing a skit about telling the truth vs telling a lie, and it turned into a low key movie production. We had fun!

We are having fun this week talking all about it, the kids love and get a lot out of acting out the right thing to do and the wrong thing to do. (They especially love acting out the wrong thing haha)

Honesty certainly is not a new topic in our house.

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We have always talked about honesty, telling the truth verses telling lies in our house. Its good to teach the importance of this matter from a young age. At about three to four years old children really begin and arrive to understanding the truth verses a lie. 

We look for opportunities to teach about honesty; if we are watching a show and see that there is some sneaky-ness or deceit within the plot we talk about it. Something as simple as “Oh no, little Mary isn’t being honest with her friend!”

And when our kids are around the age of three we wait…we wait expectantly for that first little lie to pop up. And when it does, we make the most of it. 

We make sure we use this opportunity to teach our kids the gravity of being deceitful.

From that first lie, and through the ones that follow. We make sure to take it seriously and make sure our children see and know that this is not just a little oopsie that we can brush under the rug. 

Our kids receive a specific consequence when they do not obey their parents, and we want to teach them that lying is just not acceptable in our family. So starting with that first little lie they know that if they lie, they will receive the specific consequence they typically get.. plus an additional consequence. Lying is an even bigger deal than disobeying. 

However, to reach the hearts of our tender kiddos – we cannot just simply leave it at that.

We talk through the grave consequences of deceit; “When you do not tell me the truth, it hurts our relationship. I love you so very much and want to be able to trust that you are going to always tell me the truth. But when you lie, it breaks that trust just a little bit. And if you continue to lie, mommy and daddy wont be able to trust that you will tell the truth. We want to trust you, and want you to know that we will never lie to you. You can trust us to always tell you the truth and we want to be able to do the same”

Now, the younger the child is the more you will simplify. However our kids always understand more than we think they do! 

Cover everything with grace. As much as we do need to discipline the deceit, we need to show our kids that we love them with an unchanging love not matter what they do or don’t do. And show them that we too, are imperfect and fall into temptation at times.

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I want to go back to a specific part of our talk with our kids that I just modeled. “We want you to know we will never lie to you, you can always trust us to tell the truth”.

This is by far the most important and effective way to train our kids in honesty.

If you are preaching honesty, you need to live it. Your kids see you. They hear conversations you don’t think they hear. They remember little details. If they see you lying, even about small things, your honesty lessons will go right out the window. We have to be the kind of person that we want our kids to grow up to be, but even better of course!

We have an eight, four, and three year old. Different ages bring different stages. Our oldest daughter has weaknesses of course like anyone else, but I will say that she is really an honest kid. I have heard her give the honesty talk to her younger sister and she really sees the importance of it. She is now at the age where we can simply appeal to her heart much more often then we could at three or four. She knows that if she comes to us and is honest about something that she did that was wrong, it will be received with grace. And she does come to us frequently with things that I’m not sure every kid would. For this, I am grateful to God and to the women in my life that shared these valuable tips with me. 

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