Raise Me Right

Nurturing Honesty And Trustworthiness At The Front Line

[Read this article in Malay]


I had a beautiful experience two weeks ago and it brightened my entire day. I was at a grocery store, took a carton of what I thought looked like fresh eggs, and brought them to the check-out counter. To my surprise, the sales assistant said, “Kak, these eggs are one week old. If you buy them, you must keep them in the fridge.”

Such honesty! I returned the eggs to its shelf and the gracious lady helped me chose a different carton of fresh eggs. Trust me when I say that honesty and trustworthiness combined are the most important leadership qualities.

The young lady could have just let me purchase the first carton of eggs; after all they’re still good on the day itself. Other sales assistants would probably leave it at that to help ensure the sales target for the day are met.

What kind of parenting would have prompted such honest, self-leadership actions? What kind of parenting do children and teenagers need to become adults who are full of conscience, able to discern right from wrong, and act with integrity? How do we raise them right?

Model Honesty: Children learn by observing the behaviour of adults around them. Parents and educators should consistently model honesty and integrity in their own actions and interactions. When children see adults being truthful and reliable, they are more likely to internalise these values. Children do absorb the vibes even if we think they don’t notice them.

Discuss Real-Life Scenarios: Use real-life stories like the one above to initiate discussions about honesty and integrity. Ask children how they would handle similar situations and guide them towards ethical decision-making.

Open Communication: Encourage open and transparent communication with children. Create an environment where they feel comfortable discussing their thoughts, feelings, and concerns without fear of punishment. This helps them understand that honesty is valued and that they won’t face negative consequences for speaking the truth.

Set Clear Expectations: Clearly define your expectations regarding honesty and trustworthiness. Explain to children why these qualities are important in building strong relationships and a positive reputation. Help them understand the consequences of dishonesty.

Reinforce Positive Behaviour: When children demonstrate honesty and trustworthiness, acknowledge and praise their actions. Positive reinforcement helps them associate these behaviours with positive outcomes and encourages them to continue acting in a trustworthy manner.

Encourage Self-Reflection: Help children develop a sense of self-awareness by encouraging them to reflect on their actions. Ask questions like, “How would you feel if someone didn’t tell you the truth?” This prompts them to consider the impact of their actions on others.

Teach Problem-Solving: Equip children with problem-solving skills so they can navigate situations where they might be tempted to lie or be dishonest. Teach them alternative ways to handle challenges or mistakes without resorting to dishonesty.

Empathy and Compassion: Foster empathy in children by encouraging them to consider the feelings and well-being of others. When they understand the importance of trust in relationships, they are more likely to value honesty.

Consistent Consequences: If a child is caught being dishonest, apply consistent and appropriate consequences. These consequences should focus on learning and growth rather than punishment. Make sure the child understands why the consequence is being applied.

Encourage Self-Leadership: Just like the sales assistant in the story, teach children to take initiative and demonstrate self-leadership by making honest choices even when no one is watching. Help them understand that honesty is not just about avoiding punishment but about personal integrity.

Encourage Critical Thinking: Teach children to critically evaluate situations and make ethical choices. Discuss the potential outcomes of both honest and dishonest actions and help them understand the long-term benefits of honesty.

Treat Mistakes Fairly For The Sake Of Growth: When children make mistakes or admit to wrongdoings, create an atmosphere where they feel safe to do so. Celebrate their courage to admit their mistakes and emphasise the value of learning from them.

Remember that raising honest and trustworthy children is a gradual and ongoing process. It requires consistent effort, patience, and reinforcement of positive values throughout their development.

Remember that acts of honesty and trustworthiness not only create positive experiences for customers but also contribute to a positive work culture and reputation for your business.



Featured image: Pexels

About Jamilah Samian

Jamilah has written 536 articles.

Jamilah Samian is an author and speaker.

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