Thursday, January 20, 2011

Truth is Heavy..( Teaching Kids Honesty)

Truth is heavy; therefore few care to carry it.  Isn’t this statement about honesty, true?  I am a mother of four children and teaching them to be people of truth is no easy undertaking. Especially, when we live in a world where honesty and telling the truth is not as desirable as having the latest I-pod touch or wearing the most fashionable pair of jeans on the market. Why do I say that? Well, you just have to look at our world today and see the evidence. We live in a world of materialism and status. Virtues like honesty are not the top 10 goals kids have today.  In fact, being honest might make them uncool, kind of like being the smartest kid in the class. Who needs that reputation when their idols are superstars that reel and deal in a world of corruption? Isn’t that stuff more fun?  There are TV shows, movies and books that exploit being secretive as being cool. Also, our Government Leaders fail to be the example when they hide their mistakes behind their powerful positions. How is it possible to teach our kids about the virtue of honesty when the examples they have before them are not positive?
This is the dilemma that we face as parents today.  As for me and my house, we shall choose to teach our kids that telling the truth is a noble character to have.  Yes, it has its responsibilities but in the end, the benefits are far greater.  How do you teach truth to your children?  Here are a couple of things that we try and do:  Be an example of truth.  Let your kids see you speaking the truth to others and mostly to them.  Children are smart and they watch and hear all that we do.  Don’t lie about things.  Don’t hide your mistakes, but rather confess them and allow your kids to see that you are human too.   Another way of encouraging the truth is to not overreact when your child lies to you.  Instead, be gracious and forgiving and help them find a better way to tell the truth without feeling they have to hide something.  Most people lie due to fear or shame.  We need to teach that telling the truth is one of the most powerful principles they can live by. 
            These are just a couple of ways we can help encourage and develop our children with a virtue that will help them be successful in life.  They need to understand that being honest is the right thing to do and God blesses honesty.  The Message Bible says in Isaiah 59:14 ,“Justice is beaten back, Righteousness is banished to the sidelines, Truth staggers down the street, Honesty is nowhere to be found. “  Yikes, this is our world today! My hope is that my children will be the ones to bring back justice, righteousness and truth to this nation, but it starts with us believing those values are worth pursuing. There is an old saying that says, “Home is where the heart is.” However, maybe it should also read, “Home is where truth starts!” How are you teaching your kids to be honest? Are you being the best example of honesty? Please share with me some thoughts or ways in how you teach your kids about being honest and how you deal with lies.  Have a great Thursday!

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