Tag Archive | building character

Helping Children Tell the Truth

Torn Truth

He who permits himself to tell a lie once,

Finds it much easier to do it a second  and third time,

until at length it becomes habitual.

He tells without attending to it,

and truths  without the world’s believing him.

~Thomas Jefferson~

Telling the truth has been a challenge since the beginning of time, starting in the Garden of Eden. It is important for our children to be taught to tell and uphold the truth. Every one of us is faced with the opportunity to lie when faced with a consequence we may not want. So, how do we help children tell the truth, especially when they know that there will be unfavorable consequences?

  1. Let him/her know the truth is always the best. I have a confession to make. When I was little, I was a liar. I remember as a first grader I had fabricated so many tales I couldn’t keep them all straight! I can remember my mom confronting me and when I confessed I felt so much better. I tried not to lie from that day forward because I never wanted to be known as a liar.
  2. Provide your child with an opportunity to tell the truth. Have you ever accused your child of not telling the truth only to discover you were wrong? I sure have! If you know (or think you know) they have lied, bring up the subject in a non-threatening way so that they have the opportunity to confess and correct what they have done.
  3. Show mercy when s/he tells the truth. Shouldn’t there be a consequence for lying? Yes, but I found that if I could extend grace to my sons, this provided an environment to admit they had lied and seek forgiveness.
  4. Make the punishment fit the crime. If your child lies about something and you know it could lead to bigger issues, punish them according to the offense to show them the consequences of lying. We had an incident in our home where a lie was told and the offender had to go to an adult they didn’t know and confess what they had done. I believe he never wanted to have to repeat that!
  5. Council and pray with your child. Get to the reason as to why they chose to lie if you are able. Pray with him/her afterwards.
  6. Let your child know you love them. That is so important because children feel bad in disappointing us. Let him/her know everyone makes mistakes, but being honest will build trust as lying erodes that trust.
  7. Give them a big hug! When a child confesses that they have lied, be quick to forgive and squeeze the stuffings out of them!

Have a great week!




Morning Knowledge Nuggets

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 6.38.22 AMAngela sent me these wonderful ideas after she read last week’s guest blog post that Suzanne wrote on Character. This was too good to keep to myself so I asked her if I could share this with you and she said, “Yes”! I have included links for the resources that she has mentioned.

My “Morning Knowledge Nuggets” (a title the kids and I came up with last year when we started homeschooling) is my chance to “start the day in the right way” and get in some “tidbit” lessons that I might not get a chance to otherwise.

We begin with our prayers and a daily devotion/bible verse.  Then we do our “Character Connection” with a lesson or activity for the character trait of the month.  I also include an Etiquette lesson (the kids love the book from the Etiquette Factory) and an “Ethics” lesson where we try to tie it all in and talk about morals and values (I discovered at the end of this year that the kids loved hearing Aesop’s Fables and trying to guess the moral of the story…great discussions).

Sometimes I’ll throw in a “Sticky Situation” from a book I have by the same title that is a devotional.  It depends on what day it is, as we do each of these things on one day of the week (or take more as a situation presents itself).  There is also a second book, Sticky Situations 2

After “Character Connections,” we do our “Grammar Game.”  This is something short to reiterate grammar basics.  Sometimes we take a sentence for the week and  do something different with it each day, like Monday-label parts of speech, Tuesday-label sentence parts, Wednesday-label sentence type, Thursday-talk about capitalization, punctuation, and review the week, and Friday-“quiz”-apply what we’ve learned to a new sentence of the same type.  (btw, this all came out of a need to desperately improve our grammar fundamentals!!)

Other weeks, I’ll do something short and “fun” (although the kids don’t always think so!) to reiterate a difficult concept, what we’re learning that week, or something new that isn’t quite covered in our lessons.  Then we do a bit of German and end with our journal writing!  Sometimes we are done in a half or less, other times it takes an hour for all of it.  But I always feel like our day is a lot more complete when I can get in these “other” important things!  🙂