Tips on Honesty and Dealing with Lying
Define Honesty for Your Kids
- Defining honesty for young children (under 4) must be very concrete. This means explaining to them that they need to tell what really happened.
- By ages 4-5: you can start to talk about how honesty is important in relationships “so we can trust each other. My job is to help you be safe and it helps me to do that better if you tell me the truth.”
Don’t ask any questions to which you already know the answer
- When a child lies, parents often ask a series of questions to get the child to fess up.
- Child is now basically forced to lie to cover up the lie. So we basically, set kids up to lie in these scenarios.
- Then you have to deal with the lying on top of the original issue at hand.
- If you catch a child in a lie, don’t ask any more questions. Stop. “this is what you said. This is what I know. Try again.”
- Give a child opportunity to tell the truth. They have dirt on their hands and your potted plant is knocked over. You know they did it so just say, “I can see you were playing in my plant and knocked it over.” State what you know.
Tips on Raising Respectful Kids
- Talk about what respect is and speak about it often.
- It’s an attitude, how we talk to or treat others, in nice and caring ways.
- Be sure to give examples. Such as listening and then speaking to other in respectful ways.
- Give examples of disrespectful talk vs. respectful. “Give that to me now!” vs. “May I have the pen please?”
Recognize your child when she shows respect/engages in respectful behavior. Tell him/her, “Thank you for sharing your frustration so calmly. That was very respectful.”
Disapprove and coach when they are showing disrespectful behavior.
- Coach better ways
- For example, when your 4 year old says she’s not going to listen to you in a very indignant tone, ask her if she’s being respectful or disrespectful.
- Then coach her how to share her needs and wishes in a respectful way.