• Jessica Diaz

Teaching Kids to be Honest


#honesty #honestkids #charactereduction


When you think of Captain America, do you think of someone who is honest and courageous? Me too! He seems so dependable and trustworthy, which are traits we want our kids to have. But, how do you actually teach them those all important traits, like honesty? Well, buckle your seat belt, because we are about to dive in. :)

In today’s post we’re going to answer these 3 BIG questions:

  • What does it mean to be an honest person?

  • Why should I teach my kids to be honest people?

  • How do I teach my kids to be honest?


Plus, we will go over the 4 pillars for teaching your kids to be honest people.


What does it mean to be an honest person?


To be an honest person you must be truthful and sincere.


Now, in the deepest part of yourself, you may be thinking, “But, isn’t it okay if they manipulate the truth a little so they wind up on top? Like, what if they forgot to do their homework, and they just tell their teacher that they left it in the car….it’s a little white lie. It won’t hurt anyone, right?"


Maybe little white lies won’t hurt anyone in the moment, but they can add up and snowball. Then, you find yourself wondering how your child became so comfortable with being dishonest.


Why should I teach my kids to be honest people?


Honesty is essential if you want your kids to be trustworthy and dependable.


Let’s refer back to Captain America. When you think of him, he seems like someone you could trust. I mean, he saves lives. But, let’s assume that you found out that Captain America was a liar and he only saved lives to further his own agenda…Do your feelings about him change?


When our kids are honest, it builds trust, which is needed for healthy relationships.


Now, on to the last question and the 4 pillars for teaching your kids to be honest people.



How do I teach my kids to be honest people?


1.) Teach your kids that they are in control of the things they say and do.


Sometimes kids are dishonest or insincere because they want to fit in or they’re worried about disappointing someone. Then, they rationalize it. They may tell themselves that it’s okay because of the situation they were in or because of the peer pressure they felt. They tell themselves that it wasn’t really their fault, but the truth is that they are ultimately responsible for their words and actions. While we can’t always control our circumstances, we are responsible for what we say and do.


2.) Model honesty in your daily life


It’s hard to teach kids that you value honesty if they catch you in a lie. The best way to avoid this is to be honest in your day to day life. Model the behavior you want to see in your kids.


3.) Set strong consequences for dishonesty.


Your kids may try to avoid responsibility and punishment through dishonesty. Instead of just admitting they were wrong, they will spin a tale of lies and lead you down a confrontation rabbit hole that will leave you feeling frustrated and confused. They do this because they want to avoid punishment. They’re thinking that if they’re already going to get in trouble, why not go for a last ditch effort to get out of it?


How can you avoid this? Set strong consequences for dishonesty, much more unwanted than what they would’ve experienced if they had just come clean. Then, follow though. This will make them think twice about spinning lies and will show them that you value honesty.


4.) Be considerate


Being an honest person doesn’t mean that you should ignore people's feelings. Let your kids know that being kind and considerate is also important.

If your daughter thinks that another girl in her class is unattractive, she shouldn’t go up to the girl and tell her she’s ugly with the excuse, “I was just being honest.” In that situation, she could choose to keep that info to herself in order to be considerate of the other girl’s feelings.



Want help explaining what it means to be an honest person? Check out my youtube video:





Would you like more resources to teach your kids or students about being honest? You can check out my Honesty packet available through TeachersPayTeachers:





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About the Author:



Hi! I'm Jessica from Learning with Jessica Diaz. I'm a teacher and a mother of two. All of the info I have shared with you is a result of what I have learned teaching my own kids and my students, as well as a love of reading and learning! I really hope that this information helps you, and I wish you all the best!

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