"I will always fulfill my guarantee. I will do this because I have faith in my students."

Tracy Sherwood
Your Tutor


Instilling Honesty in Your Child

by Tracy Sherwood, the Tutor's Tutor

As heard on KFI Talk-Radio

When a child lies, it is for one of three reasons: to filfill some want, to gain favor or ally, or for fear of consequences of telling the truth. Personal  integrity can be instilled to resolve all three of these reasons to lie, as long as the adult in charge sets an example of integrity and makes it safe for the child to tell the truth. The ability of the child to accept the consequences of telling the truth depends upon his personal integrity. It seems like a vicious cycle but the cycle can be broken and worked through to increase the integrity and honesty of the child. Very often, parents need some help to gain insight, communication skills and to deal with their own integrity issues before the child will have any chance of coming around. But this is personally satisfying and beneficial for the parents as well.

There are factors that can make this process surprisingly swift or difficult. These factors involve yet others in the environment and the integrity, honesty, and communication skills of each.

For example, when a child who lies, (let's call him David), has siblings, friends and peers who lie, it will of course adversely influence David. The greater number of external negative influences that we can curtail, the easier our job will be. For example if a sibling lies or has a bad habit of tattling and pointing the blame to David, that sibling should be in on the learning and changes that are to take place in ever way.

If David has friends that lie, it's a little tougher to handle because David will be protective of his friends until he has gained some integrity. That integrity will come through various phases beginning with a feeling of regret and shame and move upward into a feeling somewhat like self-righteousness before really earned. But this is the route and the way through. Eventually David will acquire some sense of humility and become somewhat humble in his new-found integrity.

This humbleness indicates that David has found out who he reallly is and doesn't feel the need to act or try to have integrity - it becomes natural.. He's come to understand that all of us make mistakes and that we are each responsible for our own actions. The need to reduce his guilt by pointing fingers diminishes and real change takes place in David's personal integrity.

But how is integrity instilled? How do we begin? What are the steps and what can be expected as we go? How do we handle different situations on the way up and how do we as parents, make sure we know what we're doing as we do it?

This integrity cannot be instilled by lectures and punishment as can be witnessed in our criminal punishment system. Such will only make one more bitter and careful to not get caught. It is an entirely different process to bring about one's personal integrity. It's a personal thing and although parents who know what they are doing can bring it about, it must come from within David. It's an exact process that follows nature. It abides by the laws of nature in terms of good and evil, strength and fear. If one knows these laws regarding human nature and is able to understand his own thought, intentions, flaws, and reasons for his own actions and reactions, he can help David. Otherwise, he cannot.

These laws of nature are not mysterious just because they are not known to most.  They are simply not known. It takes a few months of education and practice, and then change will be seen and trust and calm will come to the home provided the knowledge is used. Then you will find out how integrity naturally breeds integrity.

When response proves demand, I give a seminar/workshop series to help families in this and many other related areas. If you would like to attend a workshop, and know others who may like to attend, let's do it!

Email or call me. It's a wonderful adventure.

Tracy Sherwood



Cell: 818-469-0278



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