For the next few days, I would like to talk about honesty. If there is a character trait that I love best, it would be honesty! I will be sharing examples of honesty from my own life experiences as well as my own little thoughts on the subject.
A time that sticks out to me most about being honest, happened at the age of 16 in 1999, I went on a big family reunion trip to the Oregon Coast. My youngest cousin, Chamberlin, who I also happened to babysit was there along with her family.
During our reunion, I heard Chamberlin be referred to as Chamber-Bug. I love little nicknames, so I joined in on this cute new name, only I didn’t hear bug…I heard butt, I started to call her Chamber-butt. As you can imagine, my Aunt, wasn’t very fond of this new moniker, eventually fed up, my Aunt yelled, “Who is calling her Chamber-butt?” Hearing the tone of her voice, my first instinct was to run and hide, in order to avoid getting into trouble, but I slowly raised my hand and said it was me. Admitting it was me, was one of the hardest things I did and I was 16 years old, so imagine a child’s fear in this situation.
As I reflect back, had my Aunt very calmly asked who was calling her daughter ‘butt’, I wouldn’t have had such a hard time confessing. Now to my Aunt’s credit, after saying the words, she realized she was a little short and explained they were saying ‘bug’ not ‘butt’.
This situation has me thinking that the way we react to a potential ‘dishonest’ situation will determine how our children will react as well. If we find crayon all over our kitchen walls and start yelling, “who did this” do you think anyone will willingly confess? I’m betting, no. Whereas pulling aside each child or calmly sitting down as a family and discussing the situation would yield much better results. If you are anything like me, you may want to count to 10 before reacting.
Most importantly when our children are honest with us we need to make sure we acknowledge that honesty. In the book Parenting with Love and Logic they suggest doing this by saying “Thank you for being honest. I’m sure it was hard for you to tell me that. I bet it was hard on you to know you made that mistake. That is really sad.” Then you let the issue go. What I really like is in the book it continues by saying “It’s best to be more sad for our kids than angry.” I love this because I feel like we are not only teaching our kids to be honest, but to have sympathy as well.
These are my thoughts for today! I hope you join me tomorrow for some more!!!