(Originally posted at www.mothersgurukul.com)
At some point of time, kids hide things from their elders. As they grow, they start to understand that if they hide things or tell half truth then they can save themselves. But they don’t realize and this becomes their habit. If parents encourage their children to speak the truth from the very beginning then they can help them in becoming a person of good character and clear thoughts. I am highlighting few points here..
- They do what they see: We often hear parents asking their kids to answer the phone saying that they are not at home. Or they say if you will do this then you will get a candy. Somewhere we are laying a foundation based on lie. Is it right? I feel no. Parents might think that this doesn’t happen every now and then. Or kids forget things and get distracted but the truth is actually the reverse of it. Whatever we do, is recorded in our kid’s memory book and they relate to that particular incident quite efficiently. Even our normal conversation is recorded. So, be careful when you talk in front of your children.
- Earn your child’s trust: Yes, I said “Earn”. Kids hesitate in accepting and telling their mistake because of the fear of being scolded by their parents. I am not saying that parents should neglect every mistake of their kids but we shouldn’t set an environment where our own children hesitate to open up to us if they have done anything wrong. For example, if your young one breaks a beautiful flower vase the usual spontaneous reaction is we raise our eyebrows. And the result is our child gets an impression that s(he) has committed a blunder. Instead, why not let the child complete the talk first and then look for an alternative like you could have been more careful, let’s clean up the mess or let’s see if we can fix it. Whatever is gone isn’t going to come back. Do not let this happen with the trust between two of you.
- Discipline is also necessary: Discipline is equally important as earning trust. With discipline comes decision making, positive attitude and confidence to choose between right and wrong. I often tell my daughter that I would like to hear things related to you from you and not from someone else. If I get to know something from any third person then that will hurt me (not make angry) more. And believe me she has never let me down. Indirectly, we are teaching them to choose the right path even if there are lots of external pressures.
- Get to know their child’s friends: Peer pressure, friends influences are common terms that comes handy when we talk about our child’s behavior. No matter how hard we try, in spite of our sincere parenting efforts, kids share some of their friend’s traits – sometimes knowingly and sometimes unknowingly. If you see any such trait/habit that is not your child’s normal one then talk to them in a friendly manner. Step out of your parenting shoe. Get to know your child’s friend circle. The other day my niece came home from play area and said one of her friends had got few candies that she bought using her pocket money. I said – so what’s wrong in that? Her answer might have made her mommy happy. She said, candy is fine but she bought them without letting her parents know about it. This can give the confidence to any parent that their child knows the importance of sharing things with their parents.
These are few points that can give your child a confidence and openness to speak the truth and also a feeling that they will not be judged.