Tips To Teach Your Children Not To Lie and Be Honest

truth not lies board shows honesty

I’m sure most of us have something in comment when it comes to our children.  We all want our children to grow up and be honest, hard-working, adults with a kind-heart. I’m sure none of you want your kids to lie, cheat, sneak, or steal.  But what’s the best way to teach your children to be honest.

Some parents might think not telling the truth, sneaking, and stealing is a phase all kids go through.  It’s our job as parents to punish children when they lie, cheat, sneak and steal to prevent it from continuing right?

I’ve been dealing with an 8-year-old that cannot seem to tell the truth for her life.  Yes, she has taken things that do not belong to her, and has also been known to sneak around.  Do you ever wonder if we as adults set our children up to lie?  I believe it’s totally possible to set your child up to lie.  Wondering what in the world I can be talking about?  I know I sure would be right now……. 

Okay, so lets say you just found out your child has lip gloss from their bigger sister.  This is probably something many parents deal with, let’s face it older sisters have all the cool stuff right?

As a parent you as you child,  “where they got the lip gloss from?”

I think we all know what’s coming next.  I can speak for my own kids, and something I might here is I found it, or it was in my room, something along those lines.  Either way it’s a lie!

I would normally respond with, “You stole that from your sister’s room, didn’t you?”

My child will respond with, “No.”

This is how it’s gone in my house in the past.  As parents its easy to as your child something, and cross your fingers that they will tell you the truth.  Some children might, however many will not.  I’ve spent a lot of time pushing my child into a wall, almost begin her to lie to me.  I think when a child is approached with “Where did you get that.”  It’s embarrassing, we’re already calling them a thief or a liar.  As an adult I don’t want to be approached like that.  To be honest, it’s almost easier to just say I didn’t do it to get it to stop, or maybe so you’re not embarrassed.

Children need to feel safe to be honest. no I don’t mean let them get away with everything. Rather than asking my child where she gets something, I’ve started to in a calm
voice let her know that I already know what happened.  The calm voice, and letting her know I already know what happened makes being honest much easier.  First they don’t have to explain anything, and second you’re not freaking out.  The first time I tried this approach with my daughter she looked at me like I belonged on a funny farm, lol.

Seriously, it takes a big person to tell the truth or come forward.  Most grown adults will not do it, much less an 8-year-old child.  Telling the truth doesn’t always come naturally, it’s our jobs as parents to teach our children to be brave and honest.  For us to accomplish this we have to let them know that it’s okay to be honest with us.  I used to tell my daughter she would get into more trouble for telling a lie than being honest.  Which is true, but now I don’t push her into a corner to lie.  If I know what happened, I let her know mom knows what happened, and we talk about it.

I have pretty honest kids, don’t get me wrong they’re children, and I’m still learning to be the best parent I can.  I’m always willing to step back and try new things, when i find something that works I stick with it.  However, all kids are different.  The same approaches that I have used with my oldest daughter didn’t work her younger sister.  As a parent I had to step back and get creative, put myself in my daughters shoes and think.

Here’s a few tips that I’ve learned along the way to help your children learn to tell the truth.

It’s never to early to start talking about the truth, and right from wrong. It’s important your kids know it’s important to be honest.

Be honest with your children

There’s no do as I say not as I do in parenting.  If you expect your child to be honest with you, be honest with them.  It’s important for you to always tell the truth, if you tell your child you’re going to do something, do it.  Even the small things such as taking them to the park.  If you say you’re going to do it, than do it.  If for some reason you cannot make it, than let them know and make up for it.

right switch on showing correct or true answer

Be a role model and tell the truth

Children learn from us, they watch our every move.  Let them see you be honest, even when it’s hard.  Be honest with your spouse, boss, friends, and family.  You can expect your children to tell the truth if they see you doing the complete opposite.  You don’t want your kids to see you lie when it’s hard or embarrassing to tell the truth, never let them see you take the easy way out.


Reward you child for telling the truth.


Something that has really worked wonders for us is putting more energy and thought into the reward for telling the truth, and being honest even when it’s hard than the punishment.  I’m not saying don’t punish them, just be sure to spend a lot of time plotting rewards and less time coming up with punishments.


Never let your child doubt your love.  They should always know that you love them no matter what.  Children can be sensitive   As parents it’s our job to always love our children and be their number one fan.  Being a parent is hard work and there’s not an instruction manual, as long as everything we do is done with love you’re doing a good job.

We all make a choice when we decide to lie or steal, and we all make a choice when we decide to be honest.  It’s important for us as parents to practice being honest so our
Happy Family
kids learn from us.  As a parent we are responsible for so much, and we are blessed with the opportunity to teach our children how to be a good person.  It’s something that is worthy of 150% of our love and attention.

Being a parent is hard work, the hardest job I have ever had.  However, it’s also the most rewarding experience I have ever been part of.  Seriously watching your children

grow up and knowing that they are yours, there’s nothing that can replace that.  I don’t know what else to say other than, There has been a million times I’ve wanted to bang my head in the wall, move into the clubhouse, or run away for an hour, but when it’s all said and done I LOVE BEING MOM!  I love my kido’s, and I am thankful for the life and family I’ve been blessed with.  In the end, I think everything is done out of love.

I think it’s natural to want to bang your head in the wall, pull your hair out, want to move outside to the clubhouse, and run away for an hour.  It doesn’t mean I don’t love my children, it just means the kids are doing their job, lol.  Being a parent really is worth all of it, there’s no place I would rather be.

All children are different, and it’s important for us to remember that.  What has worked with my daughter might not help with your son, but if you’re searching for some tips I sure hope they help.

What tips do you have for other searching for help.  Is there something you’ve done that has helped your children learn to be honest?  I would love to hear any and all the tips you have.

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  1. Daun Slagle says

    Communication is key!! Most kids like most adults fear repercussion of their wrongdoings. Most people don’t even know or have an answer for why they may have acted a certain way.. the crowd did it it was cool because they wanted to fit in.. i made a mess at certain point in my life and when i couldn’t remember who was to “blame for my actions” i ha no one else to blame but me!! i was honest with my kids and that in hind sight hurt me more than helped the.. it came back at me in the teenage years.. you did it why cant i or who are you to judge me, you did the same thing.. instead of learning.. they found another person to keep the blame game going a little longer.. after many years of walking down the same street and falling into the same hole.. i finally had to find another street to walk down.. i came up with a saying to curb me from acting out of emotion or sporadic in the moment.. when faced with a choice.. i would simply ask myself this question prior to taking action.. is it something i can live with? yes or no?.. then i would tell myself.. “if i cant answer for it.. then i can’t do it..” those ten words saved my life and helped change the direction my life was in.. i stopped being a hedonist.. pleasure seeking, instant gratification, living in the moment with no thought or fear of consequence.. and learned how to think before, making rash decisions, or acting hastily. Anyone with a conscience can do this change successfully!!

    • says

      thanks so much Daun, I love reading your comments…. agreed communication is the backbone to everything in life, especially our relationships

  2. Laura says

    My 2 oldest were with us shopping during a trip upnorth. Because every store they want everything they were being told no, once they got something they really wanted. So the last store we went into, looked around, bought a couple things. Now we are walking down the sidewalk, the girls behind me and my hubby. I turn around and they both have a candy bar in their hands, I of course ask where they got it (knowing the answer) neither would answer me so I marched them back into the store, made them give the unopened candy back and apologize to the owner. When I was marching them I told them it was up to the owner if she wanted to call the police and there was nothing I could do. Of course the owner was gracious and made them promise not to do it again. These girls are now 27 and 25 and still remember that day and both swear they have never stolen anything because of that. day and remembering how scared they were at the time. It is funny now 20 years later, but I still remember how upset I was and knew I had to nip this immediately and thank God it worked.

    • says

      Laura, I totally agree. I will take your tip if that happens, fingers crossed it doesn’t but it’s VERY possible. I have really been working on stealing with my 8 year old. She recently was caught taking something from school, it was horrible. However I hope that 20 years down the road we talk bout it like that and my daughter tells me the same thing.