The Importance of Teaching Children the Value of Honesty
Punishment and anger aren’t always efficient when trying to stop children from lying. As parents, we must teach them the importance and value of honesty from an early age.
If we correct children’s behavior through punishment, then they’ll prefer to lie in order to avoid punishment.
One of our obligations as parents is to teach our children the value of being honest. After all, their future could depend on it.
This topic isn’t as simple as it seems. Teaching our children to be honest isn’t the same as teaching them to tie their shoes. There are many factors that can affect how a child learns about values.
Teaching children about virtues is an important duty that requires a great deal of patience. There are many useful tips that parents can use to teach their children the value of honesty.
Why do children lie?
It’s important for parents to understand that children don’t lie for the same reasons that adults do. Specialists in child psychology have listed the reasons why children lie.
Lying in order to receive objects or attention are two key reasons. Another reason why children lie is to avoid punishment – parent should be careful with this one. Being too strict can result in children who lie more often.
Children often lie because they confuse reality with fantasy and also out of imitation. If a child’s role-model starts lying, the child will undoubtedly start lying as well.
When should we start teaching them the difference between lies and the truth?
It’s important to keep in mind that you can’t start teaching children about values before the age of 3. Children under the age of 3 don’t have the capacity to understand the importance of values.
As soon as they turn 3 however, it’s important for parents to be observant. It isn’t enough for parents to teach; we must also observe our child’s behavior.
This will allow us to find out what makes the child lie. We can only deal with this problem if we analyze it objectively.
It’s more important to reward honesty than to punish lying
Rewarding children can prove to be a great stimulus for their learning. If we reward them, they’ll start to associate honesty as something positive. This will help create a trustful environment within the household.
We should also reprimand their lies with moderate and well oriented punishments. Calling a child a liar can be very negative. After all, isn’t our objective to have our children trust us?
The whole topic about the truth and lies has to do with more than just discipline or morality. It’s about building confidence and mutual support to face hardships together.
Teaching children the value of honesty
As our children grow up it’s important for them to understand the value of telling the truth. First of all, it’s important for them to realize that telling lies prevents us from helping them in the most appropriate way.
Trust is also key. If we express the pride felt when trust is shared and if we reward them for being honest, they’ll understand the message.
If we’re honest, they’ll also be honest. This starts at home; we shouldn’t let our children hear us lying. Parents are the models that their children follow, therefore a lot will depend to a large extent on a parent’s behavior.
Nobody said it would be easy to teach children the value of honesty. Tolerance, patience, analysis and trust are the best tools we have to achieve honesty at home.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Guilian Vela Soria, G. (2019). El valor de la honestidad en el nivel inicial. http://repositorio.untumbes.edu.pe/handle/UNITUMBES/1623
- Álvarez Valdez, M. M. (2005). El currículum High Scope como apoyo en el desarrollo de las virtudes de orden, sinceridad y obediencia en niños preescolares. https://scripta.up.edu.mx/handle/20.500.12552/2631
- Lantieri, L., Goleman, D., & Bannel, E. P. (2009). Inteligencia emocional infantil y juvenil: ejercicios para cultivar la fortaleza interior en niños y jóvenes. http://588073.stanpersky.de/descargar/588073/Inteligencia%2Bemocional%2Binfantil%2By%2Bjuvenil%253A%2Bejercicios%2Bpara%2Bcultivar%2Bla%2Bfortaleza%2Binterior%2Ben%2Bninos%2By%2Bjovenes.pdf
- Salguero, M. J. C. (2011). Importancia de la inteligencia emocional como contribución al desarrollo integral de los niños/as de educación infantil. Pedagogía magna, (11), 178-188. https://dialnet.unirioja.es/descarga/articulo/3629180.pdf