Facing Your Own Bad Attitudes

Parents who raise honest kids expect their kids to be honest— and even demand that they are honest. How important is it for your kids to be honest? Is it a trait that you have clearly explained, expected, and reinforced in your kids? If so, when was the last time you expressed how much you value honesty? If you sat your kid down right now and asked him to explain why honesty is important and cheating is wrong, what do you think he would say? What about being fair?

Keep in mind that the best way to encourage honesty in your kid is to be a truthful person yourself. So reflect on how well you model honesty for your family. Here are a few questions to consider: Do you always play games fairly with your kids, or do you sometimes peek at other players' cards? Say your ball was in when it was really on the line? Move your chess piece when the other player is not looking? Brag about cheating on your tax return? Write a note excusing your kid's tardiness by claiming she was ill if she missed school because she overslept? Put something in your pocket at the supermarket? Any time you stretch the truth and cheat, you're actually giving your kid permission to do it also.

If you notice your example of truthfulness needs tuning up, what will you do to be a better model? What is the first step you need to take in yourself to be a better model of honesty to your kids? Write down any changes you need to make in yourself.

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