April is a month bookended by lies and truths thanks to the fact that April 30th is now officially National Honesty Day. It was created by the author of The Book of Lies, Hirsh Goldberg, who intentionally set the last day of April to counteract that fun day of tricks on the 1st, April Fools’ Day.
There are so many stories that we can tell our kids to help them learn not only why it is bad to lie, but also why it is GOOD to tell the truth. In fact, James E. Faust was recorded as saying, “Honesty is more than not lying. It is truth telling, truth speaking, truth living, and truth loving.”
How do we go about teaching honesty to our kids? This week we’re sharing some great tips to help parents out!
- Model honesty to your kids
- Our kids are watching us. They learn from us when we interact with the people around us. If we want our kids to be honest, we need to show them this behaviour. Be aware of your words and actions and let them see you make the decision to tell the truth tactfully.
- Share stories with lessons
Sure, there are stories like The Boy Who Cried Wolf that show the importance of being truthful, but recent research has showed that positive stories actually carry more weight – stories that show the benefits of being honest are often more powerful, so keep an eye out for books and stories that give positive examples.
- Encourage them when they are honest
Being truthful can be hard when there are known consequences for undesirable behavior. Honor their bravery when they own up to their mistakes and praise their honesty.
- Role play
Taking time to practice scenarios can be helpful for kids. Practice makes perfect and having role played situations where they might be tempted to lie, can help them with their decision when a real-life situation comes up. Role play can come up naturally in conversation, board games or after watching a TV show.
- Don’t set them up
There are times when we know what happened without asking... so don’t feel you have to. If there’s a spill or the toilet isn’t flushed or any other similar one-time behaviour, simply ask the family to help correct it and move on.
- Encourage open conversation
As our kids get older, we want them to be comfortable telling us things. By having open and honest conversations early and often, we encourage this open relationship to continue into their teen years.
- Do an honesty activity
Peas and Candy - Frozen peas are given as if they are candy and afterward the real candy is handed out. Talk about trust and how it is hard to regain it.
- Truth and Light
- Often, truth is referred to as a light. We talk about shining a light on a situation to get to the truth or to reveal the lies. In your conversations, talk about how the light can be stored up and in the dark shine brighter. Use some glow-in-the-dark toys to be an example of how this can work. We have super cute Glow in the Dark Decor that would be perfect for an activity like this!
Don't forget to download this week's FREE printables!
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