This month’s character word is honesty. Honesty means being truthful and sincere.
Here are three tips to help your kids learn honesty:
1. Talk with your children-beginning very early- about how much you value honesty in your family. Tell them how important it is to all of you that you can always count on each other to tell the truth-even when it's difficult. If there's not honesty between parents and children, there won't be trust or closeness in your family either.
2. Model honesty for your children-not only in your words but also in your lifestyle.You can't expect them to tell you the truth if you're not honest with them-even when they ask you an awkward question. Be brief and be age appropriate in your response, but if you lie to them when it's embarrassing to tell the truth, you can't expect them to blurt out the truth when it's tough for them.
3. Let them know that you put more emphasis on their honesty than on the punishment for their dishonest behavior. Yes, you can impose consequences for their lie, but they need to know there's a benefit for them in being honest. If you glide right over their courage in pouring out the truth and jump to a punishment, they won't be quick to fess up the next time.
(Teaching Your Kids to be Honest, Psychology Today 2011)
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