Trustworthiness: not cheating or stealing

word of month character

Being trustworthy is one of those qualities that we expect and want in our children.  As a parent we want our children to do what is right, to tell the truth and to be fair by not cheating or stealing.  Due to the busy schedule everyone has today though, we sometimes overlook the idea of deliberately teaching the virtues that we would like to see in our child.
If we wait to discuss with our children the character trait that leads to not cheating or stealing until there is an incident, we will find that the emotions are too high to make any inroads on that subject.   It is the reason that we at Balanced Life Skills are committed to discussing these with our students when there are no obvious reason to do so.
Cheating and stealing is what we will be discussing this week and the affect it has on our ability to be trusted by others.  As many times in the past, we will be emphasizing that the consequence of cheating or stealing is the loss of trust and we practice trustworthiness because it is the right thing to do.
This would be a great time for parents to tie into our discussions at home by asking your child what they would do if they saw one of their friends cheating in a game, or copying off of someone’s paper.  Or what would they do if they saw someone taking something that did not belong to them?  These type of short conversations where we listen deeply and express our family’s belief on this subject will have a great impact on their conduct later in their life.

Teaching children to tell the truth

word of month character

We are never ready for the first time or really anytime that our children look at us and tell us a lie. It hurts and so it is important for us to think about how are we or should we react. Our child development specialist gave us these 7 points.

  1. Keep your cool. Use the moment as a teaching moment.
  2. Don’t set traps. You do not want to pile lies on top of lies.
  3. Avoid labels. Children will live up to the label.
  4. Give them a chance for a do-over. They need to learn that they can make a mistake and make things right.
  5. Praise truth telling.
  6. Find out why they are lying. ( see step 1)
  7. Set a good example. Children see and hear and know more about us than we think they do. We are either all about honesty or we are not. Children will notice.

So there you are. I have a few more things that I will be writing about this in the next few days and we will be discussing who and what we can believe to be true this week with our students. Included in this will be some discussion about commercials and all those marketers out there trying to sell our kids “stuff”.