At least most parents advise their children that “honesty is the best policy.”
1. Never lie in front of them
As parents, you must practice what you preach to your children. Simply telling them to behave nicely or to be honest, will not do. Having said that, parents who have honest kids therefore never lie in front of their children. This in turn passes on a positive message to the kids.
Children see everything as black and white. If you tell them to not lie and do it yourself, they'll eventually feel ‘it's okay' to be dishonest as long as it favours them. However, if you're honest and do not fear the consequences, they'll have the same attitude.
2. They're not an authoritarian parent
Be an authoritative parent and not an authoritarian parent. The difference lies in how you treat your child. How nurturing and considerate are you towards them.
While authoritarian parenting is a strict parenting style that uses punishment to discipline a child, authoritative parenting allows kids to make mistakes and learn from them.
If your child is scared of the consequences of their mistake, they'll never be upfront about it. On the contrary, if they're conscious of their mistake and know that they'll get a second chance, they'll be honest about it and will do everything to rectify the error.
3. Admit when they're at fault
Parents of honest kids are not ashamed or embarrassed to own up to their mistakes. Besides allowing your child to make errors, parents should also be able to come clean if they're at fault. This also gives out a positive impression to the kids. If they know that everyone, even the adults, are prone to mistakes, they will never hesitate to be honest about it. But if they witness parents making excuses for every mistake they commit, they're likely to do the same.
4. Do not use punishment as a means to discipline
To raise an honest kid, you must also be a calm parent. Punishment can never be the answer to anything, rather it can take a grievous toll on your child's confidence and increase the risk of self-doubt.
If you want to raise honest, kind and reliable kids, then communicate more. Help them understand where they're going wrong, guide them and let them know you're always there to help them. This will encourage them to open their hearts out to you, especially when they're going through some tough times.
5. Patience is their strong suit
Honesty does not come with a blink of an eye. It takes time! As a parent, patience is of utmost importance. To see change, you will have to be tolerant and patient towards your kids. Even if they make a one step progress, cheer them up and tell them how special it means to you. This will only boost them to become better.