Your eyes may fill up with tears of joy when your baby first says those magical words – mama. Do you know that he starts to learn the language long before he utters his first word? Those little eyes were watching your lip movements and those little ears were tuning for the modulation of your sound from the time he first looked at you.
Once he starts talking, you will notice that he picks up more and more words as days go by and start to talk relatively fluently by the time he is around 2 years. It is also around the same time that he learns to tell the difference between ‘true’ and ‘false’. Hence, this is the correct time to teach your child the value of honesty – not only because you do not want your child to lie, but also because honesty is part of both his moral and emotional development. .
There is no doubt that all mothers want their child to be a good human being. The important thing that you should be aware of is that raising an honest child is not an instant process. Honesty needs to be inculcated in your child right from birth, like an essential parenting trait, and parents should be aware that they are constantly being “watched”. If you are confused or clueless about how to teach your little one honesty, here are seven tips for you to raise your child to be both honest:
8 Tips To Raise A Honest Child
Be a role model: For children, parents are ideal and they naturally prefer to follow them. So you ought to be honest in front of them. You might think that you are honest, but you are probably far from being honest. In fact, some little white lies have become a part of our lives. However, they make a big impression on your kids’ minds. Here are some circumstances in which you lie in front of your children:
“Tell her I am not at home” to avoid to talk to someone on phone
“Tell them we will be out of station” to avoid go to a boring party
“The chocolate is over” when he asks for more (he may already have noticed where you stored them)
“I am going to office” when in fact you are going for an evening party (your child knows your schedule pretty well!)
“Let me write a note that we had an emergency” when she has not finished her homework
According to you, these may be harmless lies to avoid hurting someone’s feelings. But mind you, the child watching this may not be able to tell the difference between a white lie and a serious lie. Situations like these will give your child an idea that lies are acceptable. That said, we are not asking you to hurt someone by saying that their party might be boring though!!! You could always say “tell her I will call her back“, when your little one is around. Or in the other case, if you don’t want to give him something tell him “not now” instead of “it’s gone” or “it’s over“. Try to be straight forward in front of your child
Avoid setting a stage for lie: If you already know the answer, don’t ask him questions that might compel him to say a lie. Even grown-ups tend to lie when cornered. For example, if he is standing in front of a messy table with a dirty hand, don’t ask him who made that mess (which sounds ridiculous) demanding a full confession. Instead, you can say that it is very bad that he made the table dirty, and warn him not do it again. This way, he may get the impression that he can’t hide anything from you. Simple mantra is if you do not want to hear a lie, do not corner a child asking obvious questions
Encourage honesty: Talking about the importance of truth in every chance you get is a good idea. You can bring it up while watching his favorite (and appropriate) television show. Make him understand that the truth will always come out in the end and hiding a truth forever is impossible. Also tell him how the truthful people are respected by others. This way, you are creating a feeling within your child that honesty is the best policy naturally. What usually happens is that we start preaching about honesty and truth when we catch them lying. This is not a good idea
Teach how to be honest through stories: Select and read stories which teach the child the value of honesty. To make them understand and grasp your point, you can link the story with examples of something the child has done or witnessed
Avoid labeling your child as a liar: Never call him a liar. This will wear his self-respect down and make him defensive. Yes, your little one also has ego and you should respect his feelings, and treat him as an individual. Instead, you can let him know that you knew he lied gently but firmly. Moreover, judgmental labels tend to be identities that your child will grow into
Always listen to your child: It is very important to ask your child gently about the mistake he made. For this, you have to first make him comfortable. Listen to his side of the story and assure him he means more to you than the broken toy or watery floor and that all you are concerned is his safety. You should assure him that he need not be afraid to tell the truth. Always have a positive attitude and be encouraging whenever your child tells the truth. Praise them for being honest
Teach your child when to be silent: While teaching him the importance of being honest, it is equally important for you to teach him that if the truth hurts any one personally (Like – you smell bad, I don’t like you, you are not beautiful, etc.) he need not speak it out
Reward and appreciate: Parenting is not all that simple, and there will be incidences when speaking the truth will acyually demand courage on your little one’s part. Appreciating and rewarding is a wonderful way to enforce positive reinforcement. Do that often, so that the child gets an understanding that doing good, begets good
Teaching honesty demands your patience and considerable time. It is not easy as teaching him daily routines. Creating a truthful atmosphere in your home is very important to raise your baby to an honest person.