Children's Development

How to Talk to Kids About Honesty.

Teaching kids about honesty is an important lesson that can help shape their character and build trust in relationships. Here are some ways for parents or educators to create a culture of integrity in honor of National Honesty Day.

Lead by example: Children often learn by imitating their parents or caregivers, so model honesty and reliability in your own behavior. Let kids see the adults in their lives deal fairly with others. Show children that building character means fixing mistakes, owning up, and apologizing.

Reinforce positive behavior: Praise children when they demonstrate trustworthiness, even if it’s a small act like returning a lost item to its rightful owner.

Explain why honesty is important: Talk with kids about how being honest builds trust, strengthens relationships, and helps them feel good about themselves.

Foster open communication: Be a good listener and encourage kids to express their thoughts and feelings, without fear of judgment or punishment. Make kids feel safe to tell the truth.

Set clear expectations: Let kids know that honesty is an important value in your family or classroom, and explain the consequences of not being truthful.

Define honesty in an age-appropriate way for your group: The word honesty has many meanings: telling the truth, as well as not being deceptive (hiding the truth), not stealing or cheating. Explain how honesty helps us work together as a class and as a society.

Find the “why” behind dishonest behaviors. Kids may lie for a variety of reasons- to avoid punishment, for attention, or to receive objects. Understanding the reason behind the dishonesty can help you craft the appropriate response.

By teaching kids the importance of honesty, we can help create a more trustworthy and compassionate world. Happy National Honesty Day!

Stephanie Standley M. Ed. is a mom, educator, writer, and outdoor enthusiast. She received her undergraduate degrees in Sociology and Psychology as well as a Master of Education-Literacy from the University of San Diego. Stephanie has 12+ years of classroom experience as a teacher and currently supports students in Special Education. She is inspired to use evidence-based practices to educate children in creative and engaging ways.