Promoting Honesty and Handling Dishonesty in Children

It takes immense courage, to tell the truth, no matter what your age. Children are not intellectually prepared to handle situational ethics. They are not born with a moral code. They adopt honesty when it’s convenient, but lie when it’s not. As they grow, they learn to figure out the importance of truth and imbibe important social rules.
Promoting Honesty and Handling Dishonesty in Children
Understanding the reason behind the deceitful words and getting into the child’s mind can help enforce preventive discipline. Some of the reasons children lie include
To get something they secretly desire

  • Stringent parental limits
  • Emulating parental behaviour
  • Framing stories that sound interesting
  • The desire to fit in or accumulate attention
  • Fear of upsetting someone

As a parent, you have the opportunity to develop the character of honesty in your child and nurture it with care. Here are some suggestions to teach your kids to limit the lies and strive for truth.

Stay Connected

Promoting Honesty and Handling Dishonesty in Children
A connected family bonding plays an essential role in child rearing. A connected child trusts parents and has a high self-image, both of which abort the need to lie. Well, this doesn’t necessarily mean connected children never lie. But, they usually do not become habitual liars.

Model Honesty

Promoting Honesty and Handling Dishonesty in ChildrenIf you think you are smart enough to sense when your child is lying; children also can see through their parents’ dishonesty. You cannot fool the sharp little eyes. Having a daily routine littered with white lies will gradually ascertain this as an acceptable way to wriggle out of situations.
So if you are aiming at teaching honesty, create a truthful home.

Be Firm and Gentle

Promoting Honesty and Handling Dishonesty in Children
When you confront your children with an accusation, anger, and threat; they will be afraid to tell you the truth.  The golden rule is to stay firm on the principle of honesty but be gentle on your kids. Refrain from pushing the child against the wall so much so that you defy her from telling the truth.
Avoid creating situations wherein the child feels humiliated, to be honest. Instil the trust within your child that you will be compassionate and not sneer at her or criticize her. Be tender and discipline with respect.

Appreciate the Truthful Self

Let your child know that you like the truthful D more than the untruthful A. A child who knows school grades do not influence his/her acceptance will be less motivated to lie.
Also when it comes to school assignments, do not partner in your child’s lying. If your child hasn’t finished his homework, let him not convince you to frame a diary note to save him from scolding at school.

Avoid the Labels

Promoting Honesty and Handling Dishonesty in Children
Avoid passing judgmental remarks like “You are a liar!” Tangling the child’s identification with a label makes it even harder to correct.

Confront Dishonesty

Always confront your child for lying. Let her not believe she is getting away with it. However, refrain from forcing the truth out. Let her know that you are disappointed with the behaviour.
Occasional lying happens during the growing years, but habitual lies may need counselling.

Promote Honesty

Promoting Honesty and Handling Dishonesty in Children
Drill the importance of honesty whenever you get the chance. Don’t wait for a situation to arise as at that point your views will be looked upon as preaching. Talk about honesty in general concerning morality in advertisements, tell them how honesty makes life more straightforward, and how honest people are respected more in society.


Lying is a regular part of child development. It is around the age of 7 that your child has a good understanding of the concept of truth and lie. If you generate an attitude within your child that the child’s truthful self is the best, you are well on the path of building trust in your bond and avoiding dishonesty.

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