I had more than one child lie to me today. Being lied to usually gets under my skin more than whatever it is they are trying to cover up.
Reading this article called “Teaching Your Kids to Be Honest” helped me realize I need to put forth a little more effort to help children learn about honesty.
I especially love this scenario:
Mom: I see that you have some candy. But I didn’t buy that for you and your sister just told me that she saw you take it off the shelf when we were in the store.
Child: (Looks down)
Mom: I don’t believe in tattling, and I’ve told your sister that. But it’s also important not to steal. And it’s just as important that we don’t lie to each other. You know we’re a family that really values honesty. You trust me and I trust you.
Child: I didn’t mean to. It just happened.
Mom: I know, Honey. The temptation is so great. But I’m so proud of you for telling me the truth. That’s a hard thing to do and I appreciate it so much. Now, let’s get going back to the store. I’ll stand by your side while you return the candy.
Instead of catching the child in a lie, this hypothetical mom actually sets up her child, to be honest. This definitely takes more patience and composure, but I don’t doubt the benefits will be long-lasting.