Just thought I would share with you some of the things I have cooked up so far for teaching “Honesty”. Ironically, a few weeks before this month started, my 4-year-old son, Kolton, has started to tell little fibs. So the timing for this value has been just perfect!
For the first part of this month, I decided to focus on what the difference is between telling the truth and telling a lie. I also wanted to help my kids feel the good feelings you have when you are honest – even when it’s hard. And last, I wanted them to begin to understand how one lie leads to another, so it’s better to just tell the truth from the beginning.
We began by talking about “Happys and Sads” each night. It was an idea drawn from the Values Parenting and so far, it’s been great. Each night, the boys tell me one happy and one sad thing that happened to them throughout the day. I think Micah, our 3-year-old, doesn’t quite understand it quite yet, but he’s been paying more and more attention to what Kolton says, so I think it will click for him soon.
Another thing we’ve done over and over is trying to point out the difference between truth and lies. We do this whenever we think about it throughout the day, and also when they are beginning to tell a lie, hopefully to motivate them to be honest. So far, there’s still quite a few attempts to tell a lie, but I think every day more and more the boys are understanding the importance of honesty.
We have seen Kolton find the courage to tell the truth, even when he knows he’s going to have some consequences to face, and that’s been really rewarding to see him start to understand and make an effort to be honest, even when it’s hard. I think the thing that’s helped with that is giving him major positive reinforcement for telling the truth. That stuck out to me when I read the value this month also – to make sure that the rewards for being honest outweighed the consequences of whatever the child did wrong. It is so true! The “Honesty” book and CD from Brite has been used so much this month! Check it out – you’ll love it!
We’ve also planned a little Family Night lesson about Honesty. We will be doing it Tuesday with my mom’s family and all her kids. I am eager and excited to see how it goes. We are going to start off by having them tell us if something’s true or not true. Then we will change the “not trues” to “lies” and do a few more (i.e. “There is snow outside.” – lie “I am a Mommy.” – true, etc.) We will then explain how even if you will get in trouble, that telling the truth is always better than telling a lie.
I have a couple life experiences from my childhood that I will be sharing with them to help them understand. We will also read a story about how lies can build….how one lie leads to another and another. During the story, we will spread out and toss a ball of yarn across the room, from person to person to create a “web of lies” to give the kids a good visual of “what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive”. Then I’ve organized a little treasure hunt where the little “clues” will be different scenarios in which they have to decide to tell the truth. Once they tell the truth, they will receive another clue. The end of the hunt is going to take them to the “treasure” of cupcakes we will be decorating as spiders. We will talk about how honor is one of the greatest treasures of all.
I hope this got your creative juices flowing. I am excited to try this, and also excited for your feedback. Does anyone have any great ideas or object lessons for honesty?
Photo from g.corrow/flickr.com.
Originally posted on July 12, 2010. For information about the monthly values see the Values Parenting link in this article.