Teaching Honesty

Posted by  | Tuesday, August 2, 2011  at 8:00 AM  


Our oldest, Will, turned five in June. According to one of my weekly emails from babycenter.com - lying is not an uncommon problem at this age. (Speaking of those emails...I cried the day his changed to read "Your Big Kid This Week" instead of baby, toddler or preschooler. Can we figure out how to stop the growing, please!?)

While it's nice to know it's not uncommon and my child is "normal" for learning to tell lies (he is a sinner afterall!), we cannot dismiss it and must teach him the importance of honesty and telling the truth. Proverbs 22:12 says: "The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful."

The first place I always turn to for bible verses related to a specific behavior is this handy chart by Ginger Plowman (author of Don't Make Me Count to Three). The chart not only includes bible verses, but heart probing questions and specific verses that help the child to know the behavior they should be showing instead. I cannot recommend this one enough!
Wise Words for Moms
I decided to seek out some additional helps in reinforcing honesty. Here are some of the resources I've found helpful.
Have you heard of Adventures in Odyssey? My husband grew up listening to these stories (on cassette tape or the radio, I'm sure!) but I hadn't heard of them until a few years ago. It's a ministry of Focus on the Family and they are fictional, character building stories that were created for ages 8-12. However, we decided to download one about honesty for Will and he thoroughly enjoyed it and completely understood the message. That may not be the case with all of them, but I look forward to getting more for car rides and quiet times! (Adeline, age 3.5, did not really follow the story well at all. Just an fyi...) 

The single episode I downloaded (The Tangled Web!) is more than 20 minutes long and was 1.99. However, there is a free one out right now about a little girl that wishes her brother was never born and then gets her wish! You can see it on the main Odyssey Page.

**Update: Just wanted to add that I discovered many free episodes in the itunes podcast of Adventures in Odyssey as well. I just searched for AIO on itunes and subscribed to the podcast. There are many archived episodes that are all free! 

Speaking of Focus on the Family, you can also find a helpful story about honesty that includes questions and activities to do with your kids. The activities were a little too old for Will, but the story and questions are perfect!
Halfway Herbert

Lastly, is this book by Francis Chan (author of Crazy Love). Halfway Herbert is written for ages 4-8 and though I haven't actually gotten my copy yet, I'm excited to read this book to Will. Here is the description on amazon:

Halfway Herbert never completes anything.  Homework remains half done, his room stays only partly clean, and dinner is never finished.  Halfway Herbert somehow gets by. But when he tells a half-truth, he learns the importance of honesty and of following God with all his heart.

 Do you have any helpful advice for teaching honesty to our kids? We'd love to hear it! 

1 comment:

Laura said...

I loved listening to Adventures in Odyssesy and still remember so many of the lessons. I also remember that free episode about when Donna wishes that Jimmy was never born. I can't wait until Jack and Matt are old enough to listen and comprehend. I still have all of my old tapes and CD's.

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