Posts Tagged ‘Honesty’

Teaching Children to be Honest Yet Respectful

June 11, 2013

I have a regular guest over for dinner who, until last week, has made a point of being elaborate in praise over the way I cook my meat. Last week when I invited this guest to join us for dinner, she asked me whether it would be possible to add some flavour to my chicken as she felt it was a bit bland.

Many people would be quite angry at the request, but in truth, the request itself didn’t bother me at all. What bothered me was that she had previously lauded something which she never really liked in the first place. She obviously did it to make me feel better about my cooking. But I don’t want false praise, I want the truth. I am happy she was finally truthful with me about my seasoning skills, because had she not, I wouldn’t have realised.

There is a habit among many of us to avoid conflict by not being candid and up front with others. Many hide their true feelings, let resentments simmer under the surface and fail to address hurt feelings so as to avoid a major scene and a war of words. This isn’t a healthy practice. In fact, it is being disingenuous.

There is a way to be truthful and constructive whilst at the same time considering the feelings of others. There is a way to be honest and communicate important issues without causing acrimony. We must teach our children to say what they mean and mean what they say within such a context. That way, relationships will be based on trust, people will know where they stand, apologies can be offered and accepted for indiscretions and communication can proceed without intrusive boundaries.

Yes, it is crucial that matters are raised in a respectful and courteous manner. Yes, judgements must be withheld when they are petty and without purpose. But the last thing we should teach our children is to be phoney in order to avoid conflict.

Click on the link to read The Children of Today Show a Lack of Respect For Authority

Click on the link to read Is There Anything Better than an Inspirational Child? (Video)

Click on the link to read Instead of Teaching a Baby to Read, Teach it to Smile

If We Accept Dishonesty From Adults, What Hope is There for Our Kids?

August 31, 2012

It bothers me that society has given up on honesty and is now happy to settle for the occasional deceit:

Most women will forgive their partners for cheating once or even twice, but would dump them if they tried it three times, according to a study.

The research found that more than six in ten women would forgive two relationship ‘errors’ – which include infidelity, excessive flirtatious behaviour or romantic neglect. They would, however, dump their man after three.

A full 53 per cent say they would be likely to give their partner another chance even if they found out they had cheated on them, as long as that cheating was a one-off and didn’t involve a pro-longed affair, according to a poll of 2,000 British men and women for laundry specialists Dr. Beckmann.

An incredible 38 per cent of all current British relationships have endured infidelity of some kind, according to the study.
I believe this study represents a negative worldview which is sure to affect the next generations. We must expect nothing less than honesty and loyalty from each other. Forgiveness is a personal choice, but even so, there must be an expectation of trust in every genuine relationship.
Otherwise, what’s the point?

What Happened to Honesty and Integrity?

April 11, 2012

My generation is going to point to today’s youth at some point (if they haven’t already) and blame them for having less respect and being more selfish than they were when they were young.

That may be so, but who do you think is really to blame?

Last week, as I went to pick up my daughter from school a driver smashed into my parked car.

Did he (could have been a “she”, but I’ll stick with “he” for convenience sake) stop and wait for me to return?


Did he leave a note with his insurance details and a contact number?


That’s right, he just drove away like some kind of gutless chicken. He probably thought that my insurance would cover the damage and there would be no loss to me.

In reality, even though I have full cover, my insurance company will only pay for the damage over $1000 (I would have to pay for the first $1000). My car is probably not worth that much more than $1000 and I can’t afford to buy another at this stage, so it looks like I’m going to have to walk to work!

This story is not a new one. One of my friends experienced a similar thing on the very same day!

We can blame today’s children for plenty if we want to. But on further reflection, one has to ask – How are they supposed to end up if we can’t get our own act together and become more responsible rolemodels.

When Do I Admit That the Tooth Fairy Doesn’t Exist?

October 18, 2011

I read a brilliant article in The National about the lies we tell our children and when is the right time to confess that the Easter Bunny they are so fond of isn’t real.

Below is just an excerpt of the article.  I strongly encourage you to read the entire piece by following this link.

The world is a confusing place for small children, particularly as they only learn to distinguish between reality and fantasy between the ages of three and five. Jacqueline Woolley, a psychology professor at the University of Texas in the US, found that by the age of four, children learn to use the context in which new information is presented to distinguish between fact and fiction. So, before long, your little one will be figuring out that the tooth fairy isn’t who you said she is. Which begs the question: at what age should we tell our children that their beloved magical characters aren’t real? Or, should we even claim that they’re real in the first place?

Last Christmas I witnessed the most heated debate I’d ever come across on Facebook. It didn’t involve politics, religion or money. No; it was Santa Claus who caused the divide. One friend posed the question: “Should I tell Sophie Father Christmas is real?” What followed was a polarised debate between those who wanted their children to enjoy a magical gift-giving time and those who believed that perpetuating the story of Santa was being dishonest with their offspring. “I was devastated when I found out it was my mum, not Santa, who hung the stocking on the end of my bed,” admitted one father. Whereas others regretted never having the chance to believe in Santa because older siblings had spoilt it for them.

“I make a point of always being honest with my daughter and now she has turned six I’m feeling increasingly uncomfortable with perpetuating the lie of Santa Claus,” admitted Rosie Cuffley, a mother of two.

According to Carmen Benton, a parenting educator and educational consultant at LifeWorks, Dubai, Rosie shouldn’t worry. “Sharing the world of fantasy characters with our children is not a lie, but rather a playful way of storytelling and connecting as a family to fun events. Think about the joy and excitement that thoughts of characters such as Santa Claus can induce. You have the power to create a magical world of dreams, wishes and storytelling for your kids and I believe these are part of being a playful parent.”

It’s a different scenario when children ask directly whether Santa Claus, for example, is real. Most psychologists agree that children need to know they can trust their parents to tell them the truth, even about magical characters. “The majority of children will let go of a fantasy after the age of eight, and most would be happy for the years of the imaginary world they had been able to enjoy,” says Benton.

I feel terrible that my daughter still believes in the Tooth Fairy.  I don’t like perpetuating a lie (especially one I know will be uncovered sometime soon).  I have a feeling, irrational or otherwise, that when she does find out, her first thought will be, “What else is he lying to me about?”

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