Children need to be introduced to lessons about honesty at the earliest possible stage. Remember, the objective is to ensure that the honesty lessons are deeply ingrained (or, as it were, ‘hardwired’) in the kids’ psyches. That way, there is greater possibility of honesty being part of the kids’ personalities as they grow up and for the rest of their lives.
There are two main ways in which you can go about teaching honesty to kindergarten kids:
- Through stories: these would be mostly stories that show how honesty can be beneficial — and, conversely, how being dishonest can be detrimental. The kids need to be exposed to many such stories. And the stories need to be repeated frequently enough, until they stick in the kids’ minds.
- Through rewards: this would be a scheme where the kids would be consistently rewarded for honest behaviors. Meanwhile, the kids may need to be sanctioned (or otherwise sternly discouraged) from dishonest behaviors.
Teaching honesty to kindergarten kids may appear as if it is a lot of work. Yet the benefits we stand to get, as a community, are huge if we introduce kids to honesty lessons at the earliest possible stage. For instance, if we can get kids to be honest from a very early age, and if we can get honesty to be part of the kids’ personalities, we will get to avoid most of the societal woes we are struggling with. We will therefore end up with a future population that is willing to do its bit, a future population that is aware of its obligations and a future population that cares about other people’s welfare. We will avoid the situation we currently have, where for instance, you have a person taking up a credit card (say, through the getmyoffers Capital One system), knowing very well that he has no intention of repaying the credit card bills. The sorts of people who do this tend to be folks who weren’t introduced to the concept of honesty (and the importance of being honest) early enough in their lives.