Honesty and Respect

What is Honesty? Many children think honesty means not to tell a lie and that is definitely part of being honest. But honesty means more than not lying. A more complete definition of honesty shows that an honest person doesn't do things that are morally wrong. Honesty is an important character trait for a successful future. It takes time, patience and effort to teach children to be honest.

Children sometimes start a dishonest tendency during the pre-school years. For instance, they may grab toys from a child or try to take stationeries of other children. The teacher should correct this type of behaviour immediately by teaching children to return what is taken, apologize for their behaviour or teach children a way to pay for what is taken.

 Use age-appropriate language to teach positive character development. Help young children understand honesty and why dishonesty is bad by reading stories related to honesty. Ask children questions throughout the story, or enact a play on the theme 'Honesty is the best policy’. This process gives children time to share their thoughts and understanding.

 Children often lie out of fear or to protect themselves because they worry about being punished or making teachers angry. When teachers react harshly to children’s mistakes, it may result in more lies instead of taking responsibility for their behaviour. It is important for teachers to talk to children about their behaviour, what they could have done differently and what they can do to make things right. When children tell the truth, teachers should praise them for being honest. Children should know that their teachers value and appreciate the truth.

Respect includes qualities like acceptance, courtesy, manners, being considerate of the feelings of others, peacekeeping, and appreciating differences. It is important to make the children realize the value of respecting their teachers, their parents and friends. One of the most fundamental things to teach respect is ‘To give respect and take respect’. If we do not respect our children, they will also not respect us. Both the teacher and the student should respect each other.

The next time you see a child in a situation where he is being respectful, acknowledge and praise him in front of other children. Thus, you will be able to check that respect is an admirable quality in all children equally. As our children learn the importance of listening to others and taking their views, ideas and opinions, they should also become more open-minded and increasingly tolerant towards others. Respecting others can lead to the development of strong positive relationships with friends, family members and teachers. It is also a trait that is invaluable throughout life and ultimately respect will help our children to grow up and lead a happy life where others are always treated well.

Educators: Swabhi Parmar, Rajeshwari Rathore & Prakash Dangi
The Fabindia School, Bali 
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