Teaching children to tell the truth at an early age is essential. It can be difficult for small children to understand the concept of telling the truth. Truth telling activities are a good way to teach kids about honesty on their level of understanding. In most cases, it is a good idea to use a story to help explain honesty. Plan these activities carefully so that children do not feel threatened or bad about the exercise.
Many kids have an easier time talking about lying when the scenario doesn't have anything to do with them. Write up a few cards with different scenarios on them that involve make-believe people. Have the children act out the scenarios on the cards. Discuss each truth-telling scenario and what the person in the scenario did right or wrong. Make the scenarios more fun by having the children dress up with fun hats or clothing.
There are many different children's books and stories about telling the truth. One common story is "The Boy Who Cried Wolf." Use this and other stories to teach children about the importance of being honest. Throughout the story ask the children what the character should or shouldn't do. Use the story to discuss important honesty principles.
Snowballing White Lies
Many times children have a hard time understanding why telling a white lie is bad. They may try to rationalise a small lie here or there. An object lesson can help children understand this important principle. Go outside with the children to build a giant snowball. Start the snowball small; this represents a white lie. Explain that most white lies are small. Roll the snowball until it grows larger and larger. Explain to the children that even though the lie starts out small, it can quickly grow. This is because most white lies need other lies to cover them up.
Open Communication for Children
Although short lessons and activities about honesty can help children learn to tell the truth, it is the things that you do every day that will reinforce the principle in a child's mind. Develop a simple routine or activity that you can do every time you catch your child in a lie. For example, you can reframe the situation so that everyone is an animal instead of a person. Talk about what the animals could have done differently to be more honest. Aim to make the activity non-judgemental and forgiving. The activity should also focus on having an open discussion about being honest.