Encouraging Honesty In Children

How to Encourage Honesty

Praise honesty & reward the truth 

As parents, we are often quick to scold. Sometimes we aren’t always so quick to praise. Reward honesty with praise and hugs, thank them for being honest. Use words such as, “I’m really glad you told me the truth. I like it when you’re honest.” It will build self-confidence and reinforce positive behavior.

Father surprising her son with a present

Think about their point of view

Toddlers often lie because they have trouble differentiating between reality and imagination. In a toddler’s mind, when they pick up a crayon and color on your walls, they are making you a pretty picture. When in reality, they just drew all over your walls. When confronting them you have to take in their perspective, they did not know or mean any harm.

Listen more than you talk

All children want to do is make you proud and do the right thing, you’re their biggest role model and they look to you for reassurance. We all want our children to be perfect but sometimes you need to give them the freedom to make their own mistakes. They will learn from these experiences and

Always give them the option, to tell the truth.

Confront them in a calm matter

As a parent, it is your job to teach them that this lying is not acceptable, and this needs to be taught in a positive way. Instead of saying “Who colored on the wall!” when they obviously colored on the wall, say “what a nice drawing, but you are not supposed to draw on the walls. Here help me clean this up.”

Children are more likely to admit the truth when they feel they have not disappointed you and will not be judged for it.

Never call your child a liar, negative labels can harm self-esteem and lead to a negative self-image. Also, try not to bring up past occurrences “This is the third time you’ve lied about this”. You have already had a discussion about the previous lie, there is no point in bringing it up again. Live in the present and deal with the present.

Muslim mom teaching daughter how to wear a Hijab

Set a good example

You are their biggest role model they look to you for everything, so it only makes sense that you have to be on your best behavior too. When they see you call in sick but then go to the beach, they assume that is good behavior.

A very important character trait a person can possess is keeping and following through on their promises. This is a trait everyone can value, but unfortunately, not everyone has. Trust doesn’t come naturally it has to be earned, teach your children to be people who consider their word is gold. When they give their word, they won’t break it.

Create an open conversation 

A child will feel more comfortable telling the truth if they feel comfortable with talking to you. If they feel as though they are going to be punished for what they did they will be more likely to lie.

Research has found that kids who are punished for lying are more likely to lie in the future than those kids who are guided towards the reasons why it’s important, to tell the truth. In a study involving 372 kids between 4 and 8, researchers found that kids were more likely to lie when they were threatened with being punished, and more likely to tell the truth when they thought it would make an adult happy with them. They are learning whether or not they can trust you. It takes courage and strength to tell the truth.

 

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Teaching Honesty in Children

Honesty is the best policy, as parents, we need to do our best to teach our children the importance of being honest. Although at times this may seem like a challenge, and sometimes silence is better than honesty, we must try and direct their moral compass and teach them how to be honest.

There are many reasons why children lie:

  • Fear of upsetting someone
  • To get what they want
  • To “fit in”
  • For attention
  • To make stories more interesting
  • Mimicking Parents
  • To get out of doing something they don’t want to do


How to Encourage Honesty

Praise honesty & reward the truth 

As parents, we are often quick to scold. Sometimes we aren’t always so quick to praise. Reward honesty with praise and hugs, thank them for being honest. Use words such as, “I’m really glad you told me the truth. I like it when you’re honest.” It will build self-confidence and reinforce the positive behaviour.

Father surprising her son with a present

Think about their point of view

Toddlers often lie because they have trouble differentiating between reality and imagination. In a toddler’s mind, when they pick up a crayon and colour on your walls, they are making you a pretty picture. When in reality, they just drew all over your walls. When confronting them you have to take in their perspective, they did not know or mean any harm.

Listen more than you talk

All children want to do is make you proud and do the right thing, you’re their biggest role model and they look to you for reassurance. We all want our children to be perfect but sometimes you need to give them the freedom to make their own mistakes. They will learn from these experiences and

Always give them the option, to tell the truth.

Confront them in a calm matter

As a parent, it is your job to teach them that this lying is not acceptable, and this needs to be taught in a positive way. Instead of saying “Who coloured on the wall!” when they obviously coloured on the wall, say “what a nice drawing, but you are not supposed to draw on the walls. Here help me clean this up.”

Children are more likely to admit the truth when they feel they have not disappointed you and will not be judged for it.

Never call your child a liar, negative labels can harm self-esteem and lead to a negative self-image. Also, try not to bring up past occurrences “This is the third time you’ve lied about this”. You have already had a discussion about the previous lie, there is no point in bringing it up again. Live in the present and deal with the present.

Muslim mom teaching daughter how to wear a Hijab

Set a good example

You are their biggest role model they look to you for everything, so it only makes sense that you have to be on your best behaviour too. When they see you call in sick but then go to the beach, they assume that is good behaviour.

A very important character trait a person can possess is keeping and following through on their promises. This is a trait everyone can value, but unfortunately, not everyone has. Trust doesn’t come naturally it has to be earned, teach your children to be people who consider their word is gold. When they give their word, they won’t break it.

Create an open conversation 

A child will feel more comfortable telling the truth if they feel comfortable with talking to you. If they feel as though they are going to be punished for what they did they will be more likely to lie.

Research has found that kids who are punished for lying are more likely to lie in the future than those kids who are guided towards the reasons why it’s important, to tell the truth. In a study involving 372 kids between 4 and 8, researchers found that kids were more likely to lie when they were threatened with being punished, and more likely to tell the truth when they thought it would make an adult happy with them. They are learning whether or not they can trust you. It takes courage and strength to tell the truth.



BOOKS ABOUT HONESTY

THE EMPTY POT

the-empty-potSet in China, an Emperor is looking for an heir, since he has a passion for flowers he decides that he will give the children a task to grow a flower and from that, he will choose his heir. A child named Ping who has a passion for flowers jumps for joy at this challenge. He plants his seeds and tends to his flower every day hoping it would grow. A year passes and nothing has grown he must face present the emperor an empty pot. 


THE BOY WHO CRIED WOLF

CryWolf
“Nothing ever happens here,” the shepherd thinks. But the bored boy knows what would be exciting: He cries that a wolf is after his sheep, and the town’s people come running. How often can that trick work, though?

 

BETTY BUNNY DIDN’T DO IT 

betty bunny
When Betty Bunny breaks a lamp, she has a brand-new idea: Blame it on someone else (like the Tooth Fairy)! Then a vase gets broken and Betty Bunny really didn’t do it. But now no one in her family believes her. Honest lies, white lies, crying wolf—how can one four-year-old figure out the right thing to do?

BEING FRANK

Being FrankFrank follows the motto, “Honesty is the best policy.” He tells the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Frank never lies to his schoolmates, he always tells the truth to adults, and he’s always honest with police officers. The balancing act of finding tact, that fine line between telling the truth and telling too much truth, is the main theme of this story, and it’s very funny—although not necessarily to his friend Dotti whose freckles remind Frank of the Big Dipper, or to the teacher who hears that her breath smells like onions, or to the principal who is told that his toupee looks like a weasel. No one is quite as impressed with Frank’s honesty as he thinks they should be. He is sweet and straightforward, and, well, very frank, but with everyone annoyed at him, Frank is now honestly unhappy. He decides to visit his confidante and pal, Grandpa Ernest, who has a history of frankness himself. With a few lessons from Grandpa, Frank begins to understand that the truth is important, but so is not being hurtful. With amusing characters and expressive artwork, this story tells the powerful message of finding the good in everything—a lesson that sends compassion and understanding to take the place of rudeness in the complex concept of truth.

7 Ways to Make Reading Fun!

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.” ~ Dr. Seuss


Jumping into a good book is like taking your mind on an amazing expedition. Through
reading and writing, anything is possible. Creating worlds with talking animals, alternate universes, aliens and more!

Unfortunately, not everyone has a natural taste for reading. Depending on a child’s learning style, reading and writing may feel more like a chore. As a parent, it is your job to convince them reading is fun! This may be difficult, but there are many ways to encourage a child to love reading.

How can we ignite a child’s passion for reading?


Read the Right Book


Choose or let your child pick a book that they can relate too. If they play sports, love camping or dancing, for example, find a book that encompasses those topics.
mom and daughte

Books are more enjoyable to read when you’re interested in the topic and want to know more.

Choose a book that is on your child’s reading level. Sometimes reading can be overwhelming when you don’t understand the words or is too long for them. A simple way to tell if a book is on your child’s reading level is by using the five finger rule. Read the first page, and have your child hold up a finger for every word they don’t know. If they don’t understand five or more words, they may not be ready to read that book yet. That is okay! Everyone learns at his or her own pace and overbook they read improves their reading level!

Read a variety of material – stories, poems, information books, newspaper articles and comics for your child. Show them all the forms literature comes in. Maybe they would prefer to read short stories and poems instead of chapter books?

 

Create a Reading Space

Finding a quiet place to sit down and read a book is a great start a habit of settling down and focusing on reading. Create a calm and inviting environment where your child feels completely comfortable spending time with their favourite characters, and getting lost in a beautiful story. This should be a place where their imagination can run wild.

Lead by example! Make time for yourself to read a book as well. Go to your reading place and read your books silently together. This is also a great way for family bonding time.

My little bookcase has a wonderful list of reading space ideas here.

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Bring the Book to Life 

Try and plan ahead if the book is spooky and Halloween related, dress up in costume and read it by flashlight. If it about going to the beach, read it at the beach! By doing this, you’re bringing another element to the story. Visual and kinesthetic learners really connect when they feel physically involved.

Three vintage witches perform magic ritualWhen reading a story with dialogue change voices or share the reading by assigning a character to each reader.

Ask questions about what they are reading! How do they feel about the characters? What do you think will happen next? Can they relate to the characters? As your child becomes more familiar with books and reading, ask questions about the structure. Who is the protagonist? When you ask questions and discuss what they are reading it makes them think and question what they just read helping their reading comprehension.

Many books now have apps and videos you can watch and play along with. For an introduction to book and reading, W5Go’s app on books and reading explains the many kinds of books and reading material available and when we use each one.


Library Dates

Set a day once or twice a month where you go to the library to discover a new book. Make a date of it, grab a hot cocoa and settle in for some family bonding time! Also, many libraries offer programs for kids or reading clubs your child can join!270249

Bringing a child to a library promotes being social and creates a sense of community. They can see a world of different books, and meet new people that also enjoy reading. The library community helps a child feel more comfortable with talking about what they are reading, their thoughts and feelings about a book. Joining book clubs is a great way for children to discuss and learn about how everyone views things differently. We learn more by discussing and talking about what we’ve seen or read.

 

Make it A Challenge 

Some children are really motivated by challenges and find it really fun to complete a task. So make a game out of it! How many books can they read over the summer?

Mback to shcoolaybe offer a prize like an ice cream for finishing a book.

Make a chart counting the books they’ve read. According to SMART goals, people are more likely to achieve a goal, such as finishing a book, if they can physically see and track their progress. You can start off small such as a chapter every two weeks. By making it a challenge, a child can practice planning and setting goals to achieve them. It instills a habit of making time to read and set aside time to accomplish a goal.

Often libraries will release summer book series challenges, and there are plenty online to choose from. My KidsTime has a great list of summer books and challenges for kids here.

Be Creative!

While reading the book take time to draw, paint, act or model scenes they’ve read. This helps children comprehend what they have read, and be able to retell the story to others. Use voices while reading aloud to make the book more interesting. Have your child create a voice and read along pretending to be the character.
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Try and find books that have movie adaptions or plays made about them. Read the book and reward it with a trip to the theatre and watch the show together. Make a family date of it, grab a treat after and discuss how the show compared to the book. 

Come together with fellow parents and create a book club with your children. When they finish a book together throw a themed party for the kids to talk about the story. If they have a birthday coming up have it themed around their favourite book. Have fun with it! Make costumes or crafts, bake food mentioned in the stories.

Break the Rules!

Some rules are meant to be broken. Allow them to stay up a bit later to finish that chapter in a book. Read to them even if they can read on their own. Hearing others read helps with pronunciation. Let them move around while you read. For kinesthetic learners, this may help them listen and understand what the story is about. 

reading

Reading yields so many benefits for a growing mind, encouraging a child to read is like giving them the keys to the city. So go ahead give them the key and open the doors to possibilities! 

Books and Reading

W5Go’s Books and Reading app is an easy, fun way to introduce your child to the wonders of reading! Enjoy an exciting adventure in augmented & virtual reality, exploring the W5Go secret library, learning the who, what, where, when and why’s of books!

books_readingIcon_0003_Screen-Shot-2018-07-18-at-1.30.59-PM

Available Now!

Google Play 

App Store

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