Honesty about wants and needs

Have you heard of someone being tricked into believing something or someone that wasn’t true? Well of course we have and probably can recount stories of our own. One of the biggest threats that we and our children have today is the the marketing that takes place in the media.
There are many ways that we are enticed to buy products or services including big claims, use of vidid colors, saying “this is the best”, and bringing peer pressure on us and our children. Much of the marketing that takes place today is aimed at our children. As parents we need to be able to help our young ones understand what is happening and to be able to think for themselves to see if this is the best thing for them or just someone trying to sell them something.
How can we teach our children and maybe ourselves the difference between our needs and our wants? Sometimes I look at what I personally have and think of the many individuals and families in the world that do not have the quantity of food or housing that we feel is required for us. In fact I believe that in our quest to be kinder to the earth and world, one way would be to reduce the amount we consume. Not just recycle or reuse, but first reduce.

Teaching children to tell the truth

We are never ready for the first time or really anytime that our children look at us and tell us a lie. It hurts and so it is important for us to think about how are we or should we react. Our child development specialist gave us these 7 points.

  1. Keep your cool. Use the moment as a teaching moment.
  2. Don’t set traps. You do not want to pile lies on top of lies.
  3. Avoid labels. Children will live up to the label.
  4. Give them a chance for a do-over. They need to learn that they can make a mistake and make things right.
  5. Praise truth telling.
  6. Find out why they are lying. ( see step 1)
  7. Set a good example. Children see and hear and know more about us than we think they do. We are either all about honesty or we are not. Children will notice.

So there you are. I have a few more things that I will be writing about this in the next few days and we will be discussing who and what we can believe to be true this week with our students. Included in this will be some discussion about commercials and all those marketers out there trying to sell our kids “stuff”.

Six benefits for being honest

Here is a list of six benefits for being honest. I will only list them at this time, with additional comments to be made later and hopefully some thoughts from you.

  1. Peace of mind
  2. Character and reputation
  3. Relationships
  4. Feeling complete or whole
  5. Mental and physical health
  6. Respect for ourselves

There is a need for honesty, not because of what might happen to us if we are not, but because of what happens to us when we are. Take a moment to consider the 6 ways honesty can make our life richer and comment on them here. I am interested in hearing your thoughts on this and I will share mine in the near future.

Honesty creates confidence

It is very sad but true that we are surrounded by all forms of dishonesty and for everyone honesty is or can be a struggle. All of us are caught in a daily battle between right and wrong, making choices that have an effect on us in the present and future, and on those around us like our children who are very aware of our practices.
I was recently reading about a autobiography that was written some 1600 years ago, Confessions by St. Augustine, who explains how he moved up the social ladder by deceiving and manipulating others. One day when he saw a beggar on the side of the road, he wondered why it was that he was so discontented and this man who had nothing was so cheerful. That is when he realized that the beggar was true to himself; the great scholar Augustine was not.
He had become “utterly wretched” as a result of his constant phoniness. If we play a role too long, we lose ourselves in it. This sort of dishonest way of life becomes a ‘habit’ that has costly effects on us. Being honest about ourselves has a powerful effect on our psyche, creating a confidence that can only be had when we are honest.


Young students:

“I show and tell the truth!”

Older students, teens, adults:

Honesty means being straightforward and truthful in words and in actions