Teaching toddlers about honesty

Teaching Toddlers About Honesty

Can I Teach My Toddler About “Honesty?”

Let’s delve into the fascinating way that toddlers learn. Toddlers are concrete thinkers who thrive on repetition and learn by observing examples. Between 15 months and three years old, they have a solid grasp of the world around them. However, due to their concrete thinking, understanding the abstract concept of honesty can be challenging for them. They usually rely on their emotions to navigate situations, feeling happy, sad, or confused. It’s typically around the age of four, during preschool years (though every child develops at their own pace), that children begin appreciating the distinction between a “lie” and the “truth.” Nevertheless, we can still reinforce these foundations for our toddlers through repetition and positive examples, which will aid them in their journey of growth and understanding.

The Best Way to Communicate Honesty to Your Toddler

Remember, toddlers, learn by example and have a strong connection with their emotions. Building a foundation of honesty is crucial for their development, and as a trustworthy parent, you can make them feel secure and safe. Stay committed to your promises, even during discipline, as consistency is key. If you mention simmer time for tantrums, stick to it. You’ve got this! Show your trustworthiness by fulfilling your commitments, like getting ice cream after dinner. Effective communication means letting your “yes” be “yes” and your “no” be “no”. This simple approach sets a powerful example for your child’s understanding of honesty. Keep up the great work!

Finally, toddlers are just learning to communicate. They will try things out to see how adults respond and just to give it a “go” for themselves. No need to label them a ‘liar’ – address the lie with a simple, repetitive truth. “When you say you did not let the hamster out of his cage when I saw you do it, it is a lie. It is unkind to lie. You are a – and tell the truth.” Then move on, do not go over the history of truth or ten ways that lies can go wrong. Simple, repetitive truth from the heart of the one who shows them how life works will do just fine.

Read more in our Moms On Call – Toddlers: 15 Months-4 Years Book.

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