How can I teach my son about honesty?

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Post  Wed, Nov 14 2018, 12:14 pm
Today I found a paper on the floor that said, "I won't stand up while eating" 300 times. I asked each of my kids if it was theirs and each one denied it, but it was clear from the way he denied it that it was my 11-year-old son's. I also compared the handwriting to his school work and it was the same.

I approached him and told him I knew it was his and he sheepishly hung his head in shame and did not deny it again. I told him that I was more upset about the fact that he lied than I was about his needing to be punished in school. He said he understood and added that 17 boys in his class were given this punishment. We made up to discuss it more later since he had a friend over at the time.

When I speak to him later, what can I tell him to teach him how important it is to be honest?
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Post  Wed, Nov 14 2018, 12:22 pm

Geez, I thought it was harsh when I got 50 lines to write in school.
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Post  Wed, Nov 14 2018, 12:33 pm
I think you may need to give your child space on this one.

He’s already dealing with the shame/resentment of being punished once; although you should expect him to be honest as a person in general, it’s not malicious or unforgivable for him not to own up to something like this, especially not in the “heat of the moment”.

And even later, empathy may work better than accusation. You don’t want him doubling down on guilt and then just working harder to hide his mistakes.
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Post  Wed, Nov 14 2018, 1:42 pm
YOu can tell him Hashem sees it all, and that you get more in trouble for lying on top of whatever he did, but here, 300!!!
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Rachel Shira


Post  Wed, Nov 14 2018, 2:40 pm
Normally I would say crack down for lying, but I’d be generous on this one because seriously? 300 times? And standing while eating isn’t even a terrible offense.
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Post  Wed, Nov 14 2018, 3:36 pm
Apparently it was actually 323 times. There was some equation about the 17 boys times 19 I'm-not-sure-what that got to 323. DS actually didn't seem to feel much shame or resentment and I think that's because he was in such good company. That usually lessens the blow a lot.
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Post  Wed, Nov 14 2018, 7:54 pm
What a ridiculous punishment. In many schools repeated writing is considered corporal punishment. I guess if the the rebbe potches corporal punishment is not an issue.
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Post  Wed, Nov 14 2018, 8:03 pm
Where does he go to school, Hogwarts? shock

In a calmer moment, explain to him that you need to know what's happening at school, because you want to be able to help him if he's having problems. If you phrase it so that it sounds like lying will not benefit him, but honesty will, he'll be more able to see the big picture.

Ever since DD was very little, I repeated over and over again "If you tell me the truth, I will be a little mad. If I find out that you were telling me stories (or lying), then I will be BIG mad."
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