Creative Child

When Young Children Tell Lies

by Rebecca Eanes


5. Set a good example. If you want your child to value honesty, you must be honest. If you say that McDonald's is closed just because you don't want her to have another Happy Meal, you're not being honest. It's tempting to lie to avoid a potential tantrum since she will likely not know if it's really closed or not, but as she grows, she'll catch on – and if it's okay for you to lie, she'll think it's okay for her to do it, too.

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6. Acknowledge honesty. You might say, “Thank you for telling me the truth. I know that was difficult to admit.”

Teach children that mistakes are an opportunity to learn. Shaming or punishing young children makes them want to cover up their mistakes rather than fixing them. Focus on solutions, not consequences (unless the consequences are a direct result of the behavior), and children will learn that honesty really is the best policy. 

Rebecca Eanes is the bestselling author of multiple books including Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide, The Positive Parenting Workbook, and The Gift of a Happy Mother. She is the grateful mom of two boys. 


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