Honesty is the best policy is a well-known proverb that people use. Despite this, there are times when one omits the truth or lies about something. The rationale for this might vary from safeguarding the other individual involved to safeguarding oneself or not wanting to face the truth. This blog explores the importance of being honest with one’s children, especially while one is growing up, no matter how uncomfortable the conversation might be.
When growing up, children start to form their character and hence being honest with the child will have several different impacts.
1. Encourages the child to be honest
Being brought up in an honest environment where ‘parents’ openly discuss things, the child is likely to copy such behaviour. Therefore, this encourages open communication between the child and the parent, enabling further peace of mind that the child will discuss anything that might be of concern in the future (Robins, 2021). Similarly, in a dishonest environment, it could be expected that the child internalises that it is okay to do so when needed (Hicks, 2022).
2. Encourages trust
Trust is essential in any relationship, and it is earned through honesty. This is not different in the case of a parent-child relationship. Being honest with one’s child ensures confidence and creates a sense of security (Robins, 2021). Furthermore, children are more intelligent than one might think. Hence, lying to one’s child can break the trust and respect previously earned (Hicks, 2022).
3. Facing difficult conversations
Children are curious by nature and they enquire about everything. Being honest with the child allows them to be more open when asking genuine questions. Although this also helps with emotional development.
Additionally, it paves the way for more complex topics that need to be discussed in the future (Robins, 2021).
4. Widens their perspective
When being honest with one’s child it is important to use age-appropriate language for the child to grasp the main idea. Although the conversation might be difficult, it allows the child to process feelings, regulate one’s emotions and discuss conflicting matters (Hicks, 2022).
5. Honesty can provide one with the opportunity of learning from one’s mistakes
As humans we make mistakes, however, there is an exception within society for one to be perfect. When raising children, it is important to be honest and own up to one’s mistakes. This will teach children that it is okay to make mistakes and provides them with the opportunity to learn from them (Vondruska & Vondruska, 2022).
If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.
Yasmine Bonnici graduated in Nursing and also completed her Masters in Counselling. She has worked with victims of domestic violence, clients dealing with suicidal ideations, bereavement, separation and anxieties. She is currently working with Willingness Team as a counsellor seeing clients who would like to explore their own identity and deal with any surfacing issues.
1. Hicks, B. (2022). The Importance of Telling Your Kids the Truth – The Kid Counselor®. Th e K i d C o u n s e l o r ® . R e t r i e v e d 1 4 J u l y 2 0 2 2 , f ro m h t t p s : / / www.thekidcounselor.com/importance-telling-kids-truth/.
2. Robins, A. (2021). The Importance of Being Open and Honest with Your Kids. Childhoodpreparedness.org. Retrieved 14 July 2022, from https:// www.childhoodpreparedness.org/post/the-importance-of-being-open-and honest-with-your-kids.
3. Vondruska, B., & Vondruska, B. (2022). Honest Parents, Honest Children — The Kind of Parent You Are. The Kind of Parent You Are. Retrieved 14 July 2022, from https://www.thekindofparentyouare.com/articles/honest-parents-honest children.