John Ruskin, an English art critic during the Victorian era, said, “To make your children capable of honesty is the beginning of education.”


We’ve all told a little white lie from time to time.  But as parents learning and understanding the value of honesty helps us to develop our children’s character and self-esteem.  It’s an important lesson that is taught and encouraged, so how do we begin to guide them?


It’s easy to assume our children know what honesty means, but we really don’t know until we ask them.  Depending on their age, they may have different answers, and that’s fine. Talking it over as a family gives everyone a chance to share their thoughts out loud in a friendly environment. Once we have a good idea of their understanding we can then share with them what we think honesty is.  Discussing it as a family in a casual way (such as over dinner or during bedtime) makes it a proactive and positive experience as opposed to having the discussion after they’ve been dishonest.


Here are a few suggestions to incorporate into your discussion.

–          Why is honesty important to our family?

–          Why is honesty important in friendships?

–          Why is honesty important in the classroom?


Turn the discussion into an activity:

Everyone learns and responds to different types of learning. We can take this type of discussion and easily turn it into a brainstorming activity so that our children can learn these new concepts visually as well. Using a large pad of paper and markers, write down their ideas as they are being said out loud. Visit for other tips and suggestions on encouraging honesty viagra vente libre belgique.


Honesty is Key

As parents, we’re used to having little eyes and ears on us at all times, so being a role model is a concept that is quite familiar, especially when it comes to honesty. If we want our children to be honest with us, it only makes sense that we’re honest with them.  One of the things we need to keep in mind is the unintentional little white “lies” that we tell without even thinking, such as “I’ll only be gone for a few minutes” and we’re actually gone for a couple of hours.  We don’t think of them as a big deal, but after a while it can cause our children to not believe us.


Here are a few more examples of little lies we tell our children and suggestions to rephrase for honesty.


The Lie:

It won’t hurt!

Rephrase for honesty:

This might hurt a little bit.


The Lie:

The park is closed today, we can only go on Wednesday.

Rephrase for honesty:

I’m sorry, we have lots of things to do today and we won’t have time to go to the park. We have lots of time on Wednesday to go to the park, would you like to go then?


The Lie:

If you don’t eat your broccoli you won’t grow taller.

Rephrase for honesty:

You should try the broccoli on your plate. It’s healthy for you and helps you grow.


Being aware of the phrases we choose to use to explain to our children why something is or isn’t happening can have a big impact on them, even if it seems quite simple and innocent at the time. The same concept can be applied to promises as well. Although our intentions are true at the time, such as promising to go to the park on Saturday, plans can change. It may still disappoint our kids to hear that we aren’t able to go to the park, but it’s good for them to understand why the plans have changed.


Let’s face it, we all know that no one likes being caught in a lie, even when you’re an adult. One of the best ways to deal with honesty and dishonesty with our children is to reinforce the positive. Of course it’s just as important for our kids to know that lying is frowned upon, but it’s also good for them to know that being honest has way more benefits. As parents, our first instinct is to scold our children, but having them fear the consequences could make learning from the dishonesty a lot tougher.


One of the issues we need to keep in mind as well is how we approach the situation when dishonesty comes up. For example, when we can clearly see that our children have done something wrong, it can sometimes be better to say “I see that you’ve spilled your juice, would you be able to help me clean it up? Instead of saying “How did the juice get spilled?” This eliminates the chance for our children to be dishonest all together and take responsibility by assisting with the clean-up. For more tips on encouraging honesty, visit @supernannyuk.


Sometimes playing the role of the teacher and the parent can be overwhelming. Luckily, there are many great tools that can help reinforce our lesson. Storytelling is a great way to capture the concept of honesty as well as many other values. I Can! Kids believes that stories make fun and inspiring learning tools for both parents and children.  Our personalized children’s books not only encourage honesty as well as other positive values, but help children realize that they can achieve anything they want to if they dream big enough.


Our books help parents, grandparents, teachers and coaches show children when they believe in themselves, and have confidence they will achieve their dreams and when they think positive thoughts, they will find success in their lives. To learn more about I Can! Kids or to personalize a book of your own, check out


Do you have any honesty parenting tips or stories? Leave us a comment below or connect with us on Facebook (icankidsbooks) and Twitter (@icankidsbooks).


Photo credit:

Recent Posts