Teaching Toddlers the Value of Honesty

Learning to lie (and then subsequently, to not lie) is a normal part of growing up — but when lying becomes a nasty habit for your own child, it can be a little more frustrating than that!  Whether it’s about if they hit their sibling, ate their food, grabbed something they shouldn’t, or just about anything, lying can rear its head in your household quite often with toddlers and small children.  So what can you do about it? We’re on the blog today to talk a little bit about why toddlers lie, and what you can do to curb it!

Why Kids Lie

The easiest answer here is that they just do.  Every kid learns to tell little white lies, no matter how hard their parents try to keep them honest!  But there are a few reasons to explain why it can become a habit:

 

They want to please you.  Your little one honestly just wants you to be happy with them — and sometimes that means lying about something that they did (or didn’t!) do in order to keep you happy.  Reassuring little ones when they’re being scolded that they’re still loved is incredibly important!

 

They learn it from others.  Daycares can be breeding grounds for new habits like lying!  When those around them are lying about things they do, they pick it up quickly!  Establish early on that your household tells the truth, no matter what. Early habits learned in the home can help keep bad ones from daycare at bay.

 

They’re afraid of trouble.  This one is probably the most obvious, and even adults lie to avoid trouble!  No one enjoys being scolded, and toddlers are no exception. While this may be an inevitable reason to lie, teaching good habits at home can help to curb this.

 

How You Can Stop It

When you’ve had it with the fibs and tall tales, there are a few steps you can make to get your little one back on the honesty track!

 

Practice what you preach.  It’s no secret that toddlers are little parrots!  Be aware of what you say in earshot of your little ones — making sure you show honesty will teach them early that that’s what is expected!

 

Talk to them. Sometimes it’s as simple as just teaching them what honesty is!  Make sure you let them know that their family values honesty and expects it from them.  Instilling this at an early age will help as Bitsy continues to grow older!

 

Reward honesty.  If Bitsy tells the truth about something they did, make sure you acknowledge the honesty — “Thank you for being honest.  You know you can’t hit your sister anymore, right?” is better than jumping right into the lecture about the bad behavior!

 

Before you know it, Mama, those fibs will be things of the past, and your Bitsy will know and appreciate the value of honesty themselves!  It’s all normal–you’ve got this!