Good Life

Fathering | Honesty best policy for raising kids

In the film “A Few Good Men,” Jack Nicholson delivered the famous line, “You can’t handle the truth!”

When our daughter was young, my wife and I established a few simple family rules that we wanted her — and later, her younger brothers — to embrace.

The first and most important rule was to always tell and be ready to accept the truth. This, however, is sometimes easier said than done — for parent and child.

Here are a few things to think about when you are facing moments of truth with your children.

Action ideas

Consider how much truth you can handle and how you demonstrate being truthful. Will you overlook little white lies? Do you round down your child’s age when going to an amusement park? Will you overlook a situation because you just don’t want to deal with it?

In examples such as these, your children will soon learn about your understanding of the truth. Is it something you want them to emulate?

Think about various situations that you may encounter with your children. Different situations may merit different responses, but always give your child a chance to explain their side. Your response may be a simple discussion or it may be more severe if it is a recurring issue. Always be consistent.

Explain to your child that actions have consequences. Telling the truth upfront — no matter how hard — will avoid bigger issues down the road.

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