(Adapted from a piece on fulltimenanny.com. Used with permission.)
One of the greatest challenges that both parents and teachers face is helping kids to learn the value and importance of honesty. Children learn to fudge the truth at a shockingly early age, and the habit can be difficult to break if not acknowledged immediately. Here are ten ways to make sure that your little one doesn’t make dishonesty a practice.
- Practice What You Preach – Teaching your children not to lie is likely to be a challenge if they overhear you saying things that they know to be untrue to others. It’s important to practice what you preach, especially when it comes to impressing upon kids the importance of being honest. They can pick up habits at an alarmingly fast rate, so make sure they’re good ones.
- Create an Atmosphere of Acceptance – Kids often lie out of fear that the truth will cause them to be ostracized. Creating a “no-judgment” zone in your house or classroom can help kids to feel safe enough to tell you the truth, even when the truth is something that you don’t want to hear.
- Talk About Outright Lies Versus Those of Omission – Small children may not understand the difference between actively telling a lie and simply opting not to say all that they know. Explain that both options are dishonest, and help them understand why it’s important to be honest in the first place.
- Reward Honesty – When a child tells the truth, it’s important to reward or at least acknowledge that truth. For instance, lessening a punishment because she told the truth can be akin to “time off for good behavior.”
- Avoid Situations That Can Lead to a Lie – Instead of setting a child up to be dishonest by asking if they did something, ask them why they did it. Saying “I know that you spilled your milk, now let’s clean it up,” is much more effective than asking, “Did you spill your milk?” This accusatory tone makes kids defensive, and they may lie reflexively just to avoid getting into trouble.
- Be Careful With “White” Lies – Instead of telling a child that their disgusting cough syrup doesn’t taste that bad, explain that it’s unpleasant but will make them feel better. A child will know the second that they take the first dose of that medicine that it tastes horrible, and may not understand why you would lie about it when they aren’t allowed to lie about things themselves.
- No Name-Calling – Never call a child a “liar” or other derogatory names. This only makes them feel like you don’t trust them to ever tell the truth, and that there’s no interest in doing so if you aren’t going to believe them anyway.
- Leave the Past Where it Belongs – When gently confronting a child about a situation in which they’ve been untruthful, avoid the urge to bring up past incidences of dishonesty. They’ll only feel as if their past mistakes can never be forgotten, and that you don’t believe that they can ever tell the truth.
- Don’t Make Threats – Don’t threaten a child with vague statements like, “if I found out that you’ve been lying, you’ll be sorry!” In this situation, they’ll only feel as if they must protect their lie in order to avoid a mysterious punishment, rather than feel secure enough to admit to being dishonest and making an apology.
- Be Patient – Kids who have trouble with telling the truth won’t change their stripes overnight, and it will require patience and effort on your part as well as theirs. Understand that there will almost certainly be missteps along the way, but your child is still learning the intricacies of telling the truth.
Kids can be further confused when they’re reprimanded for being “brutally honest,” so it’s a good idea to explain that telling the truth is a delicate balance of not making hurtful observations about others, even if they’re true, while also not saying things that are dishonest. Talking to them about only saying positive things about another person’s appearance or habits can help to prevent embarrassing statements made by kids that are trying to learn the difference.
Many thanks to Hannah Anderson for allowing us to repost this terrific article from fulltimenanny.com!
The common core standards set forth the following criteria for math proficiency are grounded in 8 math “commandments” that include contextualizing, strategizing, modeling, precision, reasoning, structure, content proficiency and perseverance.
We feel these standards are missing a crucial first step… Going a step deeper into “why should I care about math? How will I use it in my life outside of school?”
Getting your child to WHY s/he should tune into the lesson is key to unlocking their interest in HOW to address the 8 “commandments” of the math common core standards.
Today, we explore this topic for the Interpersonally Intelligent Child. For kids who thrive on interacting with others, focusing on math homework when s/he could be hanging out with, talking to, or IMing with friends can be a tough sell. You can help them understand why math is important…even to “people people” with this party planning activity.
Please Note: This activity will likely take a few days or more. Be sure to pay attention to when your child starts to lose focus and take a break, then suggest you pick up the “party plan” at another time. (S/he may even come to you to keep planning!)
Sit down with your child to create their “ideal” party plan. Tell the child first that the sky’s the limit. Offer to pay for half of this particular party.
We’re off to the races with:
STEP 1 – Brainstorming
(Your role is to write down the elements of their perfect party. We’ve compiled these questions in this Party Brainstorm PDF to make life easier.)
- Where would s/he host the party?
- Would s/he have tables for the guests or chairs to sit on?
- What kinds of decorations would s/he have to give it the “feel” s/he wants the guests to have when s/he enter?
- Would s/he have entertainment? If so, who would provide it? If it’s just music, will you need special stereos/speakers/etc.?
- How long will the party last?
- Would there be food served at the party? What kinds?
- Based on the food choices, will plates be needed? How about napkins? How about utensils?
- How about drinks? Would there be any? If so, what kinds?
- Will the drinks need cups? How about pitchers?
- Who would be on the guest list?
STEP 2 – Research
Count how many people are on the guest list. You can use our Party Breakdown PDF spreadsheet or handwrite the answers and collect them in a party planning folder.
Have your child call the place (or look up the answer online) and find out
- how many people s/he will allow in the room
- how much it costs to rent it for the party
If the space is big enough for the number of guests your people smart child wants to invite, go to the next step. If it won’t accommodate the number of guests s/he’d like to invite, research a different space.
If s/he wanted to have chairs/tables for the guests, find out how much these will run each.
Research to find out how much each individual decoration will run to give the space the “look” s/he have in mind. Note the dimensions of all of the desired decorations.
If the child wanted to hire an entertainer or DJ, find out how much s/he costs per hour. If the child just wanted to have music on the stereo, do you have equipment you could use that would be loud enough for the whole event? Will you just be playing music from Slacker, Spotify or Pandora…or will you want to create an iTunes compilation. If iTunes is the response, then approximately how many songs will you need to “keep the beats popping” for the whole party? Does s/he have enough? If not, how many times will each song s/he’s got repeat? Is this acceptable or will s/he need to buy more music? If s/he need to buy more music, how many more songs will s/he need? What’s the approximate cost per song?
Go to the grocery store together and write down the costs of all of the food and drink items your child would like to serve at the party, as well as the cost of plates, napkins, bowls, utensils, pitchers, cups, etc. and the number of servings for each.
STEP 3 – Add it all up
Create a spreadsheet or draw 6 lines down a piece of lined paper to make seven columns (first column is the widest). Or return to our Party Breakdown PDF.
Make the header of the first column “ITEM”, second column “ITEM COST” third column “# of UNITS/SERVINGS”, fourth column “COST PER”, fifth column “# UNITS NEEDED”, sixth column “# ITEMS NEEDED”, seventh column “TOTAL COST”. (Or, just print out this handy worksheet.)
In the first column, write down all of the items you researched for their perfect party plan, the cost and the number of units/servings in each item.
If you want to find the cost per unit or serving, should the child add, subtract, multiply or divide? (answer = Divide)
Further, which number should be the numerator? How about the denominator?
Make each calculation
Decide on the number needed based on the number of guests. When looking at food, are there enough servings of food to accommodate all of the guests for the whole party? How about drinks?
Draw the size of the room on graph paper and diagram the decorations based on their sizes. Are there enough to give the party the “festive” feel your child wants? Will s/he need more? Note the decision in the # needed column for these items.
Now, figure the total cost of each line item. Does s/he add, subtract, multiply or divide to get the correct answers? Based on the number of units/servings in each item, how many total items will s/he need to serve the guests? Remind him/her that s/he will need to round each number up accordingly.
What’s the total cost of that line item for the party? How did s/he figure out that number?
Finally, total up all the party costs in the right hand column. (Does this mean adding, subtracting, multiplying or dividing?)
STEP 4 – Concessions
If you’re paying for half of the party, how much will each of you be chipping in? How do you find this information? (Adding? Subtracting? Multiplying? Dividing? What fraction or percent is half?)
Once you’ve got the costs, how much money have s/he got saved up? How much more will s/he need to chip in their half? Given their weekly allowance, how many weeks will it take them to earn enough money to pay for the party? How many months? (or years?)
We’re betting that the ultimate cost of the “pie in the sky” party for most “people smart” kids will be astronomical…and that it will take them well into their teens or adulthood to earn enough money to pay for it, so it’s time to start making concessions.
How can s/he eliminate or minimize the party costs? Invite fewer guests? How does this impact each line item? Select cheaper food or drink? What would s/he give up? What would s/he add more of? Would s/he choose a different locale? How does this impact the final cost and number of decorations needed?
At this point, you may want to make a party “budget” recommendation to your child…based on what you’re both able or/willing to afford. Work backwards until you reach the budget you both agree upon. Or, take it a step further and figure out how s/he can make additional money to add to their contribution and do the math to find out how much s/he can make and how long it will take to reach the goal.
STEP 5 – Once the money’s been saved, decide on a date and invite your guests!
It’s time for both of you to celebrate! Not only will your interpersonally adept child get a chance to be surrounded by their closest friends in an environment that s/he’s designed and planned…you’ll have taught your child JUST HOW MUCH MATH is required in every day life—and in flexing his or her mind muscles in a way that celebrates & embraces his or her passion for people.
Think about how you want to set up your event.
- Do you want people sitting in chairs facing you at the front (e.g. stage/audience)
- Do you want people sitting in chairs in a round circle?
- Do you want people standing up and talking to each other?
- Do you want a combination of a couple of the event formats above?
Next, think about how you will manage conversation at the event.
- Will you have people raise their hands to speak?
- Will you let them talk as needed?
- Will you have conversation “sticks” that people can use to show who’s up next to talk?
- Will you impose time limits on how much one person can speak?
How will you record people’s ideas?
- Will you tape record them?
- Will you video tape them?
- Will you have someone write them down on a sheet of paper?
- Will you have someone write them down on a chalkboard, whiteboard or easel?
It’s finally time for your event!
At your gathering, talk with others about how you can work together to affect change in this regard. Remind people how small changes on behalf of one or more people can create a positive chain of events that ultimately results in a BIG change.
Some people call this concept the “butterfly effect”…others call it a “ripple effect”…still others call it a “domino effect”.
Think about the small changes you are all willing to make individually and as a group.
- Will you talk to at least one person a day about your mission?
- Will you talk to your school PTA about it?
- Will you write a letter or email to your congressional representative, senator or the president?
- Will you create a petition?
- Will you create a YouTube video about it?
- How about a blog, Facebook group or a Twitter account?
- Is it a subject that your parents could post flyers about at work?
- Is it something that you want to talk to someone about at a local museum or bookstore?
- Do you want to do more research about it online and reach out to more influential people and get their suggestions?
Decide who will be responsible for which tasks. How will you evaluate the results of each effort? Then, set a date with those interested for your next meet-up. Encourage each other to find ONE more friend to bring to your next meeting.
Now, GO TO IT!
As Ghandi once said…