The best way to teach your kids honesty is to always be truthful yourself. Children learn by mimicking parents and other role models. Additionally, several methods to teach children honesty are available and they are easy to incorporate into your daily life and routine.
One of the most effective ways to teach kids honesty is to read books to them that focus on this core value. Read them classic fairy tales like "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" or the contemporary "Franklin Fibs" that focus on the consequences of lying. Talk to your child about the activities that are transpiring in the story and ask him what he thinks will happen next. Ask him if he would believe the character in the story after he has been known to lie. Tell him the moral of the story is to always be truthful or other people may not believe you.
To instill the value of honesty in a child, use art. Have her draw a picture of how it makes her feel when someone is honest and trustworthy. Give her an example, like when she dropped a dollar and a friend gave it back to her. Have her draw another picture of how she would feel if the person had not been honest with her. Your child will learn empathy in this way and recognize the positive aspects of honesty and the negative associations with being dishonest.
Many times children will absorb a lesson more effectively if they feel like they are having fun playing games. Play a game with your child where you make two true statements and one false statement. She has to choose which of the statements is the lie. Next, allow her to make honest statements and tell a lie. Repeat the process for several rounds. Whoever guesses the most lies wins the game. This process helps to teach a child what is the truth and what is a lie. Purchase or make your own board game that focuses on honesty. Make a series of index cards that include a hypothetical situation and ask your child how he would respond. Talk about the consequences of his decision. Pass the set of cards to the next person. Complete this activity on the weekend or during dinner each night.
Have your young child make a set of puppets with you. Then act out different scenarios where one character is caught in a situation in which he might lie. Reinforce the message of honesty by always having the character tell the truth. Prompt your child to make sure his character stays honest or have the character face consequences for dishonest behavior.