Tips to Help Teach Honesty

Teaching a child the importance of honesty early on will help establish positive and trusting relationships throughout their lives. Children need to be taught what is right and appropriate of their personal behavior and their relationships with others. By understanding what honesty means, children will be more inclined to tell what really happened in a situation, keep their promises, and learn that by being honest it will make them feel better about themselves.  

Here are 5 ways to teach kids honesty: 

Activities for Teaching Honesty

1. Tell Stories

  • One of the most effective ways to teach kids honesty is to read books to them that focus on this core value.
  • Read them classic fairy tales like "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" or the contemporary "Franklin Fibs" that focus on the consequences of lying.
  • Talk to your child about the activities that are transpiring in the story and ask them what they think will happen next.
  • Ask them if they would believe the character in the story after he has been shown to lie.
  • Tell them the moral of the story is to always be truthful or other people may not believe. 

2. Use Art

  • To instill the value of honesty in a child, use art.
  • Have her draw a picture of how it makes her feel when someone is honest and trustworthy. Give her an example, like when she dropped a dollar and a friend gave it back to her.
  • Have her draw another picture of how she would feel if the person had not been honest with her.
  • Your child will learn empathy in this way and recognize the positive aspects of honesty and the negative associations with being dishonest.

3. Play Games

  • Many times children will absorb a lesson more effectively if they feel like they are having fun playing games.
  • Play a game with your child where you make two true statements and one false statement and he or she has to choose which of the statements is the lie.
  • Next, allow her to make honest statements and tell a lie.
  • Repeat the process for several rounds.
  • Whoever guesses the most lies wins the game.
  • This process helps to teach a child what is the truth and what is a lie.
  • Purchase or make your own board game that focuses on honesty.
  • Make a series of index cards that include a hypothetical situation and ask your child how he would respond.
  • Talk about the consequences of his decision.
  • Pass the set of cards to the next person. Complete this activity on the weekend or during dinner each night.

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