Friendship is Magic – Lesson 6: Honesty




How do you instil AppleJack in your child?


The characters of My Little Pony each represent and important Element of Harmony, which helps a child to be a good friend! AppleJack’s has an honest, friendly and sweet to the core nature and is always ready to lend a hand to help her pony friends. She is one of the best role models to follow when teaching children about honesty.


Honesty is one of the most important lessons of friendship. As parents, we wish for our children to be honest, reliable and trustworthy. With honesty, your child can forge closer friendships as his friends will love a friend with honesty and integrity. This also boosts a child’s confidence as he knows he can trust himself. Parents have the most influence when it comes to instilling a deep-rooted commitment to telling the truth. Have an early start to teaching your child about the importance of honesty and teach them how to resolve situations so that they don’t have to rely on lying.


Here are 8 effective ways you can create an atmosphere of honesty in your home!



1. Be The Model Of Truth


Parents are the primary role models in our children’s lives. One of the best ways is to create a truthful home. Just as when you sense your child is lying, children are often able to see though their parents’ distorted truth. If your child sees your life littered with little white lies, he will learn that this is an acceptable way to avoid consequences and view it as a green light to be deceptive.


Kids want to mimic mum and dad and they will think if you lie, they can do it too. Many a times parents may distort the truth in the home. For example when we wish to get rid of a telephone sales person we may tell our child to say on the telephone“ Tell them I am not here”. You may rationalise that this isn’t really a lie, it is a white lie and is all right because it gets you out of an awkward situation.


Part of teaching honesty to your child is by not asking him to share in your lie by saying you’re not at home. Instead, he could have said “She can’t come to the phone right now. May I take a message?” Don’t tell your child “there is no more ice cream” just to make it easier for yourself to say he can’t have it anymore and avoid a tantrum.


Sharp little eyes see it all and you haven’t fooled your child at all. Just say “no more now” and expect your child to accept it. And definitely don’t become an accomplice in your child’s lying. If your child didn’t finish his homework for whatever reason, don’t let him convince you to write a letter to the teacher saying the computer broke down. These actions only seek to sanction lying and teach the child how easy it is to avoid the consequences of poor choices.




2. Don’t Label A Child That Lies


Nothing could be worse for a child than to be called a liar. It could damage his soul and tear up his confidence like confetti. Avoid judgements like “You’re a liar!” or “You’re not telling the truth!” Children often use parental labels to define themselves. To them a bad label is better than no label at all. At least the “liar” has an identity. A label may become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Instead, say to your child, “This isn’t like you, you’re usually honest with me.”




3. Unconditional Love


Children who trust their caregivers and have a good self-image of themselves don’t need to lie. The child who knows that his acceptance in the family is not conditional upon performance is less motivated to lie.


Children lie when they feel they have to “live up” to someone’s expectations, especially people whom they love. They do not want to disappoint someone they love and thus resort to lying. So convince your child you like him just the way he is.




4. Expecting the Truth


A basic part of teaching honesty to children is giving them the message, “I expect you to tell the truth.” Children should know they do not have a choice when it comes to truth telling. Let them know that you expect them to be open, honest and truthful. Be clear and direct about it. When your child knows what you expect, he’s likely to step up and deliver honesty.




5. Discussing Honesty


When teaching honesty to children, talk about how important “the truth” is every chance you get. Don’t wait until you are in the middle of a situation when what you say may be taken as preaching. Comment on broader topics, such as truth in print and advertisements, how truth keeps life simple (lies to cover lies), and how the truth always comes out in the end.


Current events and family happenings can be analysed from the standpoint of honesty. Talk about how truthful people are respected. Read him books with honesty themes like “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” and “Pinocchio”.




6. Don’t Confront Your Child In Public


If your child lied about a broken vase, don’t make a scene and embarrass him in front of a crowd or in front of his siblings asking, “Why did you lie about breaking the vase? Tell me the truth now!” Instead, pull him to the side and address the situation out of public eye.


Children will sometimes lie just to save face. Confront him but not in a way where he thinks lying is his only option to save him from trouble. When you are tender in your questioning, its more likely he will spill the beans about the broken vase.




7. Teach Your Child When Silence is Not Lying


Little children are innocently honest, but sometimes at the wrong moments. Example: “Aunt May, you are fat” or “Uncle Tom, why are you are bald?”


Part of teaching honesty to children is them learning that if the truth hurts someone’s feelings, it is not necessary to say anything. “Sometimes it’s best to keep thoughts to yourself.” While you don’t want to squelch the cantor and honesty of children, you do want to teach them to consider others’ feelings.




8. Offer Amnesty


Sometimes you know that your child has lied to you, and you want to turn a negative experience into a moral lesson. Give your child an amnesty - a pardon for wrongdoing. For example, if you found out later that your child had gone to a party even though you said “No.” before.


Try offering amnesty. Let him know he is allowed confess to any wrongdoing he has done and will not be punished. You will be surprised at how easy he will confess. We all feel safer about situations if we knew we wouldn’t be prosecuted if we came clean. Well, the same applies to your child.


Children don’t want to be truthful if they knew a spanking, or a chair in a corner awaits them. This will also teach them that it is unwise to lie as the truth will always come to light. This method will definitely curb your child’s affection for untruthfulness.




With these few lessons in mind, you can create an attitude within your child that honesty is the best policy and the child’s truthful self is really the nicest person to be around. You are now well on your way to helping your child build long-lasting friendships based on honesty, trust and integrity.


Find out more about the Elements of Harmony and learn tips on how you can nurture the importance of friendship in your children with us! Click HERE to learn more!






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