As I have been doing a lot of research on honesty and reading lots of articles, I came across one thought that really resonated with me and would like to share with you today.
In today’s society, our children know all about Pinocchio or The Boy Who Cried Wolf, both tales on honesty. However, if you stop to look at these two stories they are negative examples of honesty, these are tales that teach our children through fear not to lie. Instead of teaching our children through fear we should be teaching them through love and positive examples of honesty.
I personally want my children to see honesty being rewarded then lying being punished. My oldest and only daughter, Isabelle, is not just the spitting image of me in looks, but in personality as well.
So, it comes as no surprise that she has a bit of an honesty problem, because when I was her age I was the same way. Recently, my daughter was met with a choice at school…be honest and could very well get into trouble or be dishonest and not get into trouble. This is her story…
One day at school Isabelle and her classmates were receiving their school pictures, now I don’t completely understand what happened, as I wasn’t there, but the gist of it is that one student’s picture was halfway covered and Isabelle thought it looked silly, so she and some other kids at the table laughed. The student who was laughed at got their feelings hurt and told Ms. Smee, Isabelle’s teacher, whose name I have changed. Ms. Smee handled the situation perfectly, she first took the kids outside to have a little chat, next, instead of accusing the students she asked who had laughed. Ms. Smee created an environment where my daughter felt safe raising her hand and being honest. Ms. Smee was so impressed by Isabelle’s honesty, that she gave her a little reward.
I feel like this situation could have yielded two different paths for Isabelle, had the teacher reacted out of anger and immediately punished the children for being dishonest, I know Isabelle would have taken her lying to a whole new level. Instead, this situation reaffirmed to Isabelle that ‘honesty is the best policy’.
By creating an environment where our children can see positive examples of honesty being rewarded, it is my belief that children will be better prepared to make the right and sometimes hard choice to be honest!