The Value of Being Worthy of Trust
One of the things that we need to communicate to our children is that, “It’s very important that I be able to trust you” This means always telling the truth. One thing that is very difficult for a parent to deal with is lying. Unfortunately, this is another negative behavior that is very prevalent in today’s society. It is also something that for parents of young children it is easy to brush off. However, it is one of the worst forms of negative behaviors and must be dealt with. A child who develops a habit of lying cannot be trusted and this can affect all future relationships, as well as employment.
For many children it is a natural response to fear of being caught and if they are dealt with early on then the pattern can be broken before it becomes a habitual response. Dealing with lying will take more time because there will need to be an additional and often more severe consequence for lying then simply dealing with the negative behavior. For example, a child who forgets their homework and then lies about it to the teacher will need an additional and more severe consequence for the action of lying. The lying was a bigger offense then simply forgetting the homework. If a child struggles with lying a parent must take the time to praise when they tell the truth. Telling the truth is a scary thing to do when faced with a consequence. Something like, “I’m sorry that you forgot your homework today, that means that you will have to do it immediately when you get home from school instead of watching the show that you wanted to. I am so proud that you told me the truth, I am sure that was very hard. Because you we’re honest about it, you may have a snack at the table while you are finishing it up.” That way the child still chose a consequence but the fact that they told the truth was praised.
Make sure to take note when your child does the hard thing and tells the truth in the face of a consequence, because that is what a trustworthy person looks like.