Parenting Tips: Teaching your kids to be honest

These great tips for teaching your kids to be honest are drawn from this article.

Reward the Truth.

Reward honesty with loads of praise and hugs. It will build self-confidence and reinforce the positive behavior. Plus, a child can never get too much love.

The Art of “Spin.”

The brutal truth should not always be spoken. We have all heard the saying, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” One need not lie and say Aunt Becky is skinny when asked how she looks. Just don’t say anything. Or find something else about Aunt Becky that is positive. “That sure is a colorful shirt.” Spin. People make a lot of money doing it. Spin works two ways, but when done for good, it’s a wonderful tool to learn.

The Hard Truth.

Correct morals and purity of spirit always trump protecting the feelings of someone who is doing wrong. Wrong is always wrong. For instance, your son’s best friend is cheating on tests and your son is fully aware. He has a duty to go to his friend and advise him to stop.

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The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far from the Tree.

As is always the case, you are the role model.

Do Not Lead the Witness.

Though it’s tempting to test them, try to avoid asking questions that give your child a chance to not be honest.

Truth or Consequences.

We all sin. Even children do. They will eventually lie to you and you will eventually catch them. It’s important that there be consequences for their actions.

Correct Mistakes.

Catching your child being dishonest is a good time to break out your teacher hat. Help him correct the mistake.

Your Word is Gold.

The most important character trait a person can possess is keeping and following through on promises made.

What’s Yours is Yours.

Possessions can create all sorts of problems. The best policy is to teach a child early on that what they have belongs to them. What other people have belongs to that person.

Look for Honest Friends.

Show me your friends and I will show you your future. If your child’s friends lie and cheat, so will they.

Father’s Do: Reflection #3

‘Fathers, do bring your children up in the training and instruction of the Lord.’ (Ephesians 6:4).

Glory of God

God is with us all the time and cares about every part of our lives.  ‘Whether we eat or drink or whatever we do, we will do it all for the glory of God.’ (1 Corinthians 10:31).  What an amazing verse! If we can eat and drink for the glory of God, ordinary family life is holy.

Fathers are living models and everyday examples in our homes. We will so live that our children experience the goodness of their heavenly Father through their earthly father. We are instructors. We will teach our children the word and the ways of the Lord. He will be at home in our home – in our work and our play, in our sorrows and our joys. We will sing and speak of Jesus every day. We will pray with and for our children. We will train our children to experience and to enjoy God in all they do.  God is good – All the time.

Father’s Do: Reflection #2

‘Fathers, do bring your children up in the discipline of training…’ (Ephesians 6:4).  You won’t find ‘discipline of training’ in your Bible but the same Greek word is translated as either ‘discipline’ (ESV), or as ‘training’ (NIV).  We often think of discipline only as punishment; training is helpful because it is such a positive word.

ephesians 6 DO

A good coach trains his team. He does not often have to punish his players but he stretches them to go to their limits. He knows when to push them and when to stop. He does not ignore faults and weaknesses but he is known for his encouragement more than his criticism. After all coach and team have the same aim and are working towards the same end – to be the champions!

Fathers are training their children to run in the race of life. It may not always seem like it in the everyday struggles but our children do want to be winners. It is a privilege for fathers to be their coach, training them as they grow and celebrating when as champions they go far beyond us.

Father’s Do: Reflection #1

‘Fathers, do bring your children up…’ (Ephesians 6:4).  If you think that is obvious, think again!

AbseEph 6 - DOnt fathers cannot bring their children up. Neither do distant or negative fathers. ‘Bring up’ is a caring word that means to nurture or to shepherd.  It is a farming word that can be used for raising day old chicks. Chicks demand daily or even hourly attention to make sure that they have food and water, are protected from disease and that their conditions are just right for healthy growth. It is worth it when your chicks are the best on market day.

To bring their children up well, fathers must give them love, care and attention every day. Fathers need to understand their children’s joys and sorrows, successes and failures and be ready to stand back to let them discover what they can do on their own or to step in and rescue them when they need help. Bringing up children is a lot of work but it’s worth all the effort when our children succeed in life.

3 john 4

As an old man John wrote, ‘I have no greater joy than to know that my children are walking in the truth.’ (3 John 4)


Father’s Do Not: Reflection #6

‘Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger; instead bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.’ (Ephesians 6:4). God is Father. We are made in his image and somehow like him in our role as fathers.  That is why fathering is so rewarding to us and so necessary for our children. It is a tough assignment which will demand all that we can give. We will often get it wrong but Father God is with us and for us all the way. He is our helper. We can trust ourselves and our children to the Lord.

Genesis 17 v7

Here is a glorious promise to Abraham which we can claim for ourselves and our children, “I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.” (Genesis 17:7).  On the Day of Pentecost, Peter confirmed that this is a God word for us saying, “The promise is for you AND YOUR CHILDREN.” (Acts 2:39).

Father’s Do Not: Reflection #5

‘Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger…’ (Ephesians 6:4). Fathers are good at making their children angry. The same thing happens the other way round – children are brilliant at making their fathers angry! Is there a father who has not caught himself losing his temper with his child and stopped to ask himself what was going on: ‘I thought I was a mature adult and look at me now, behaving like a mad man.’

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The sad thing is that neither child nor father wants it to happen. Both long for a strong and happy relationship. The unexpected emotions are a sign of the power of family ties in the plan and wisdom of God.  They are also a reminder that family is a spiritual battle ground. Our adversary the Devil works to destroy family life. We don’t need to worry because God is with us and he is for family, but we do need to be constantly in prayer for our family life and for our children.

Father’s Do Not: Reflection #4

‘Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger…’ (Ephesians 6:4).  Selfish discipline is guaranteed to make our children angry.

Eph 6b

Dad has had a horrible day. He was late at work because his transport got stuck in a traffic jam. He was expecting a promotion but someone else was given the job instead. He had to stay late to help his boss finish a project. He came home boiling inside.

His daughter met him at the door asking for help with her maths homework. He knocked her aside shouting, ‘Get out of my way and do your own silly maths.’ She had done nothing wrong but he was taking out his frustration on her.

It is all too easy for fathers to relieve their anger on their children by beating them or treating them cruelly. It is better to go out and to chop wood as viciously as we like, than to smack our children when we are angry. If we are in danger of losing it, it is better to pause and breathe deeply or wash our face in cold water before dealing out severe discipline. Selfish discipline angers our children.

Father’s Do Not: Reflection #3

Eph 6a

‘Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger…’ (Ephesians 6:4).  Inconsistent discipline confuses children and provokes anger.

It’s Saturday afternoon and all is right with the world.  Dad is relaxed and enjoying his little boy who is jumping off a chair in their lounge.  Dad says, ‘Well done. Try again and you might get a world record!’  Father and son are having fun together.

It’s Sunday afternoon.  The family have been missing church and the pastor has come to visit.  The atmosphere is uncomfortable. Dad is uptight. Trying to relieve things, his son climbs on the chair and says, ‘Look at this. I’m so good at jumping that Dad thinks I will get a world record!’ Dad erupts in anger, ‘Get off that chair. Go to your room. We don’t do that in my house.’

That may not matter much if it only happens once, but if it becomes a pattern, the little boy will grow up with a simmering anger towards his father.

Father’s Do Not: Reflection #2

‘Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger…’ (Ephesians 6:4).  Military discipline is a great way to make children angry.  Military discipline is easy; father barks an order and the children obey.  It may work in a crisis or when our children are small.  But it will produce an angry reaction as our children grow.

The aim of military discipline is to train soldiers to obey without thinking.  In the heat of battle they must not question a command.  When the sergeant says ‘Jump’, soldiers jump – the only question might be ‘How high?’

disciplineThe aim of family discipline is to help our children become mature and responsible adults who can think for themselves.  Starting at the youngest age they need to understand why they do what they do – from brushing their teeth, to going to school, to avoiding wrong and doing right.

That means taking time to explain reasons and to answer questions.  We say we do not have enough time, but if fathers have no time for their toddlers, their teenagers will have no time for their fathers.

Father’s Do Not: Reflection #1

‘Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger…’ (Ephesians 6:4).  That was Paul’s message for fathers 2000 year ago.  Way back then he must have seen fathers who were experts at making their children angry.  Fathers today are still good at it!  You will see lots of ways fathers provoke their children if you look around at the fathers you meet – or look at the way you behave as a father.

If we do not have a strong relationship with our children we will anger and exasperate them even though we don’t want to.

Eph 6

‘Please notice me when I do something right!’  That was the plea of one child whose Dad always punished him for mistakes but never complimented him when he did well.  That child may misbehave just to get attention and he will surely grow up angry!

Do our children know that we really love them? Do we spend time with our children? Do our children hear more encouraging or more discouraging words from us?  Do our children see that we have more time for casual visitors than for them?  Do our children….?  What questions would you add?