Encouraging Honesty in Children


‘He knows if you’ve been Bad or Good,

So be good for goodness sake!’

These lines from the ever famous ‘Santa Claus is coming to Town’, will not quite do the trick when it comes to getting your children to stop lying!

Why is Honesty important? Right from our childhoods, we are taught that ‘being honest’ is a sign of ‘being good.’ Conversely, if you lie, it means you are ‘being bad.’ Now, while a little White Lie every now and then might be something all of us fall prey to, there’s no denying the importance of honesty in shaping character.

In this article you will find our list of 10 Strategies for encouraging Honesty in your Children. Before we pursue that list, it’s important to first answer the question: Why do Kids Lie?

Why Kids Lie

Perhaps the first question we must ask ourselves is, ‘When do kids start lying?’ While children of all ages lie, kids usually start lying when they are around 3 years old.

Of course, no parent likes to see their kid telling lies. Here are some of the common reasons why children prefer to skip the truth.

  • To avoid punishment. More often, children lie as a means of covering up something that they feel they will be punished for.
  • Note: The likelihood of lying is greater when they expect a harsher sort of punishment, like spanking.
  • To test a new behaviour. Some kids are merely curious about this new behaviour of ‘Lying.’ They want to see what’s in it for them, if they tell a lie.
  • To gain approval. A lot of children are not confident about themselves. They lie in an attempt to gain favour in the eyes of those they love.
  • Confusing imagination with the real world. Plenty of times, children live in a world of make-believe. They lie because they cannot separate their fantasy from the real world.

Why is Honesty Important?

Every parent wants to raise their children to be honest citizens. Honesty forms the bedrock of trust in all the relationships we make in our lives. When we teach children to be honest, we are actually teaching them to be respectful of others.

The one thing about Respect is this: It must be earned! When our children learn to communicate in an open and truthful way, they will in turn be respected by the people in their lives.

Looking at how to stop kids from lying, in an attempt to get them to be honest members of society? Read on, to find out how you can do just that!

10 Strategies for encouraging Honesty in your Children

Searching for How to Deal with Kids Lying? You’ve stumbled upon the perfect blog post!

This section contains the best possible strategies that will help, when looking at how to stop kids from lying. Without further ado, here’s a look at them.

#1. Reward the Truth

As parents, we are always quick to scold our children when they tell a lie.

Try rewarding them with a hug, the next time they tell the truth. It will go a long way in sowing the seeds of enduring honesty in your children.

#2. Stop them when they are Straying from the Truth

A lot of times, children drift from the truth and get caught in a web of make-believe.

Whenever you find them straying from the truth, stop them right there. Tell them to take a pause and start over, stating only what they know for sure, not fabricating the truth.

#3. Speaking the Hard Truth

A lot of times, children don’t speak the truth because they feel it will hurt the feelings of others.

They have to know that upholding Morals is more important. For instance, if their friend is cheating in an exam, they must tell them to stop!

#4. Read them Stories about Honesty

Good stories are Great, when it comes to instilling sound Moral Values in children, Honesty included!

Try to get them to read books that teach the importance of Honesty, like the following:

  • Pinocchio
  • The Boy who cried Wolf
  • The Emperor’s New Clothes

#5. Be a Role Model

More often than not, children imitate the behaviour of their parents.

Set an example of being honest, by always speaking the truth in front of them.

Note: Avoid telling White Lies, too. It will only encourage them to form a habit of telling Big Lies.

#6. Enforce Discipline Calmly

A common mistake a lot of parents make is being Authoritative when it comes to punishing their kids for telling lies.

You don’t want to yell at them when you have caught them lying. That will only frighten them, and increase their likelihood of lying again.

#7. Teach them that Trust is Earned

Several quotes abound, about lies always being discovered in the end. Lies that only serve to destroy that sense of trust!

Start questioning them every time you feel they are lying, telling them that Trust has to be ‘Earned.’

#8. Tell them it will make them Happy!

When kids lie, they don’t really feel all that great about themselves.

Tell them that whenever they tell the truth, they will cultivate a sense of happiness. Now, who doesn’t want to be Happy?

#9. Make them aware of the Consequences of Lying

Children often don’t know the repercussions of the lies they tell.

You must make your children aware that the lies they tell can hurt others, including yourself, deeply.

#10. Discourage Dishonesty more than the Crime itself

We all make Mistakes, but what’s even worse is the Lies we tell to cover them.

Tell your children that if they lie about the bad things they have done, the consequences will be greater.

At EuroKids we strongly believe that learning how to be Honest and communicate in a truthful manner, is one of the vital skills parents need to teach their children. They must learn that Honesty is the platform on which Mutual Trust and Respect are built.