Today's Tip for Families

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Encourage Your Child to Be Honest

Honesty is an important trait in school and in life. It is also a habit. You can help your elementary schooler get into the habit by praising honesty when your child demonstrates it.

For example, say that your child is responsible for making the bed. You ask about it, and your child tells you that it is made. If it is, you might say, "Thank you for making your bed, and thanks for being honest. It makes me trust you more when I know you tell the truth."

If you ask and your child says the bed isn't made? Talk about the honesty anyway. "Thanks for being honest. You do need to go make your bed now, but I'm glad you told the truth."

What if your child didn't make the bed but says that it is made? First, try to get an explanation for why your child wasn't honest. Ask, "Did you think that lying might get you out of trouble?" Then say, "But now you're in trouble because you didn't tell the truth." You might say, "How do you feel when you're caught in a lie?" Children will usually admit that it doesn't feel very good.

Keep asking questions. "What might you have done instead?" Your child will probably decide that it's better to tell the truth in the first place. Then you can offer praise for coming to this conclusion. You can say, "That's a more grown-up way of looking at a problem."

Brought to you by:

West Point Consolidated School District

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