We all want honest kids!
Today my oldest and I were at the flea market! Oh how we love to go to junk shopping! I picked up several great pieces but the best find of the day was not in something I purchased but something I taught my daughter.
As we walked around the tiny isles, my 5-yr-old, who loves to touch everything; bumped into a table and caused a little ceramic squirrel to fall to the ground and break. We were both immediately mortified. My daughter because she thought she was going to be in trouble and me because I wondered how much this piece was going to cost me. “Sorry mommy, sorry sorry sorry” she said over and over again almost in tears putting it back up on the table.
I quickly thought to myself, “what a great learning experience this will be.” I explained to her that we needed to take the little squirrel up to the front and explain we broke it and pay for it. She asked why since they would not know that it broke if we just put it back. I let her know that it was an accident, we would not be in trouble, we had to take responsibility for our actions and be honest about what we did. I explained that the little squirrel belonged to someone else who was trying to sell it and make a profit from selling it and it was now broken and we must pay for it or at least offer to.
Sure, we could of just put it back on the shelf and walked away but kind of message would I of sent my daughter? We walked up to the front and explained that “we” had accidentally broke it. Luckily they only charged us $2 for the little squirrel and he got to come home with us. My husband will fix him up and all will be well. I hope my daughter will always remember that we chose to do the honest right thing today!
Raising honest kids is something that we should all strive to do. Follow these 3 tips and you will be headed in the right direction!
Parents Lead by example
This is by far the most important thing you can do as a parent to teach your kids to be honest. Your kids are always watching you and taking cues from you. Just like the ceramic squirrel from above, if I would of just put it back, that would of taught my daughter, that was okay behavior when it’s not. Be honest in all your doings whether it be at work, school, social settings, etc. Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6)
Surround your kids in Truth
Similar to the above tip, if they are surrounded in truth, then that is all they know. Make your home a truthful place. As adults, we understand the concept of a “little white lie” but kids do not. If someone calls and you don’t want to come to the phone, don’t tell you child to lie and say you are not home. Simply have them say, “Mom, can’t come to the phone right now.” If you want your child to miss school one day, don’t tell them that you are telling the teacher that they are sick. Simply let the school know your child will just be out for family reasons. If you don’t like apples, tell your kids the real reason, don’t make up a reason. Kids are smart, especially the older they get and if you are constantly surrounding them with “little white lies” they will think this is normal and okay and soon you will be at the receiving end of their “little white lies.”
Reward honest behavior
I am not saying go out and buy them a new toy when they are honest but lets face it, sometimes it is hard as heck to be honest. You can reward them verbally! “Did you leave the water running in the bathroom?” “Did you get in trouble at school today?” Sometimes it is really hard for our kids to answer yes to questions they know they are going to get in trouble for and they should be rewarded for telling the truth. This will help teach them to be honest. Next time instead of yelling or scolding them, try something like this, “Thank you so much for being honest, it helps me trust you!” or “I am glad you told me about getting in trouble at school, I know its not easy to tell me the truth sometimes but I am always so happy when you do.” This will help encourage your child to tell you the truth even when they think they might get in trouble. Give them a big hug next time for being honest, even if it comes with a punishment for whatever the crime was.
Good luck Mom! Look for lessons in everyday life, they are there! All the time! In the meantime, go junk shopping! You can find some great items! Here’s mine from the squirrel day!
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