Saturday, April 30, 2011

FHE: Honesty for Toddlers

We have been having some issues with our three-year-old telling lies...often. I know that she doesn't entirely understand what a lie even is, and especially doesn't grasp the idea of why it's wrong. This week, we are going to focus on honesty for Family Home Evening to help her understand the need to tell the truth and what that means.

Prep: Create your smiley and frowny face cards (draw your own or find images online) and/or the pictures for The Lie Monster. You may want to come up with child-specific examples (see below) in advance if you don't want to think of them on the spot.

Song: Keep the Commandments or I Believe in Being Honest

Scriptures: Exodus 20:16, 13th Article of Faith

Lesson: Explain in simple terms that telling the truth means saying things that really happened. Telling a lie means we say something that isn't true or that didn't really happen. Give a few examples of truth and lies and have your child identify which is which. Start with easy ones:

~The sky is purple
~Dad is wearing pants
~I have a cat on my head
~The door is closed

Explain that when we tell the truth, we make ourselves and those around us happy. Most importantly, we make Jesus happy. Choose one of the following activities, depending on which you think would be more appropriate for your child and family.

Option 1: Happy or Sad

Give each person one smiling face and one frowning face card. Share a story that happened during the day, like "We had sandwiches for lunch today" or "We played with our friends today." Each person should hold up the smiling face. Do a few examples of truth, pointing out that telling the truth makes us and others happy.

Next, share a few examples of things that didn't really happen, like "We flew in an airplane today" or "We went to a party today." Each person should hold up the frowning face. Explain that telling a lie, or saying something that is not true, makes us and other people sad. We should tell the truth so we can be happy.

Go through as many examples of truths and lies as you want to help your child understand the difference.

Option 2: The Lie Monster

This activity is from Click here for the story. Read the story aloud and display the pictures as indicated. Discuss why lying makes things harder for Tommy and what he can do to fix it.


Throughout the week, pay attention to when your child tells the truth and acknowledge it positively. If they do tell a lie, gently remind them that it makes us sad when we tell lies and help them fix it so they can tell the truth.


Alyssa Harper said...

This is SO great! It's so hard to describe this concept to a little toddler. I had no idea how to explain it to him. I'm excited to teach this in FHE!

Heather said...

I also really like this lesson. It's simple, but it gets the point across. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

There is a sunbeam lesson, "I Can Be Honest." You might get more ideas from that lesson as well! It's hard with these little guys that age because their imaginations are just cranking all the time. Sometimes I think it's difficult for them to decide what really happened.

You can encourage honesty by trying not to act frustrated or upset. Kids will say anything to make you happy. If you can hold off your own emotions, and explain that you will be happy when they tell the truth, then they will be more likely to do that (if they haven't already invented a lie that they feel they have to defend!).

Or you can just remind them of the rules... example: your child accidentally colors off the page onto the table. If you find this and demand, "Did you color on the table!?!" the child immediately knows this doesn't make you happy and will likely say, "No! I didn't!" They want you to be happy with them. Instead of setting up a situation where they will lie, notice the marking on the table and remind the child, "We need to remember to keep all the crayon on the paper. Help me clean the table up. It looks like you missed the paper and got markings on the table." Then the child knows you aren't happy about the table, but they CAN fix it, and you will be happy with them for helping fix the problem.