Truthfulness is one of the values that is rapidly eroding in our society, owing to the celebration and praise lavished on some of those found guilty of lying, stealing, and cheating. We are fortunate to be able to prioritize telling the truth in our homes and families. Some of the things we can do to achieve this include:
LISTEN: Pay attention to those times when your child is narrating an experience. Most likely, you will have two major options when you listen. Firstly, if you were a part of that experience, you can tell if your child added extra stories to what actually happened and you will instantly correct such impressions and encourage the child to say it the way it happened. Secondly, if you were not a part of the experience, listening will help you ask probing questions that will enable you to see if the child’s narration is consistent and help you decipher the truth.
REWARD: Any action or inaction always has a result, which can be referred to as either a reward or consequence. When we help our children experience and understand the positive or negative results of telling the truth about a person, situation, or event, they are better able to accept responsibility for what they did or did not do. To put it another way, whether they choose to tell the truth or not impacts the turnout of events and whether they will be happy or sad eventually
DO NOT DELAY REWARD: When a child tells the truth at any time, acknowledge it and praise the child to reinforce the good behavior. However, when a child lies about anything, an appropriate consequence for such action should be carried out without delay so that it does not lose its essence.
Most importantly, as adults, we must model truth telling to enable our children emulate and imbibe this great virtue.
"For every good reason to lie, there is a better reason to tell the truth"
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