One thing people always say the love about kids is their unwavering honesty. That is until it's their kids and they find themselves on the very public end of the honesty.

My 5 year-old is incredibly honest. She doesn't lie, even about things that may land her in hot water so it's no surprise that she is completely honest in her interpersonal interactions. The other day she told my husband after one of his talks to make her feel better about some preschool crisis: "That doesn't make me feel any better but thank you for saying it anyway Daddy." Remember when all it took to fix an ouchie was a kiss?

So what do you do when your child's honesty becomes a bit embarrassing? What about those too pointed observations about people's appearance?

The first thing to remember is not to shame a child for telling the truth. If grandma asks "Did you like the doll I sent for your birthday?" and your child answers "No" honestly, don't embarrass them by correcting them. Merely explain to grandma that your child is into blocks right now or one of their other favorite toys. Remember, Grandma's the adult and should be able to handle the truth.

We need to be careful about teaching our children to lie about their feelings in order to spare others. Children need to know their feelings matter. It is also important to treat their honesty with some of your own.

When they observe a person who's overweight or some other feature remind them that people come in all different sizes, colors, etc. Don't shy away from topics that make you uncomfortable because it is a great opportunity to teach them how to be comfortable in a variety of situations and with a variety of people.

Got an embarrassing honesty story? Share it with us!

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Comment by Callie Domingues on March 29, 2009 at 1:59pm
My son at about 5 yrs old turned to me in the store and said, "Mama, did you see that ugly baby?" I thought I would die! After I looked around to make sure no one heard, :) I reminded him that everyone is beautiful in God's eyes and that that baby's parents loved the baby just the way it was. Whew! It was then that I knew it was time to start working on tact. Now at almost 8, we are still working on it!
Comment by Jem on March 29, 2009 at 6:54am
Hi Let me begin by saying I have trained;
1. Children need a map they are born and we all know of birth trauma, the shock of a new world, unseen by us save for those who know what to look for they begin a silent drive to orientate themselves; a tiny fist punching out in the air to form a neural pathway; this is what it feels like air I can touch it hit it kick at it. Young experimenters ( Jean Piaget ).
2. They are forgotten members of society achieving inordinate amounts , ( oh Africa's rain is distracting me from my balcony it pours heavy and proud :) ) without anyone really noticing; we do not have divine right over our children; only a duty to understand this formative time and aid by explaining social norms, laughing yes at their existence, but try a role play beforehand praising your child, making it fun and clear how to behave in the forthcoming situation;
I do this all the time with my two lovely boys and people cannot get over how well behaved they are, truly it is only that I forewarn them as I would do a foreign exchange student, for they are foreigners almost to our world.
There is a tale of Dr.Maria Montessori who suddenly with her Doctors training in essential observation, noted that the little ones in her class had no idea how to blow their noses, she called the round her and demonstrated very carefully and clearly how to blow their little noses; oh they all applauded and thanked her.
Kids say may not actually be a bad idea; but nicely done; they are all only smaller lost little people! You may find they will be happy to learn what is expected of them.
Comment by Terreece M. Clarke on March 28, 2009 at 7:47pm
Lesley that's too funny.

Marcella, that reminds me of the older folks I used to work with, they tend to either lose the filter or could care less and say some wild, but true stuff.

Lisa, you HAVE to let me use that on my "Kids Say" section for my examiner site. I'll email you. I almost peed on myself reading that!
Comment by Lisa Saline on March 28, 2009 at 6:22pm
I was in the store with my 3 year old one day and the lady in front of us was very large. Well her beeper went off and my 3 year old said "watch out mom, she's backing up"....I about died. He was into trucks and loved the beeper on them as they backed up so he was just relating the sound to something he plays everyday.
Comment by Kid Organizer on March 26, 2009 at 10:48am
I work with many ADHD kids many who were born without the "filter". The stories are quite amusing but teaching the child to use his/her filter can be difficult. As the child grows older, maturity should help in determining when to use of the filter. Then again, we all know some adults who need to go shopping in search of a "filter".
Sometimes the impulsivity gets in the way of the filter. I have to teach my clients how to stop, think, then speak. Its a process just like anything else.

I will admit though, I love when parents come into my office with a funny story about something their child said. :)

Comment by Lesley P on March 26, 2009 at 9:19am
The dentist asked my then 6 year old -- "Do you floss often ?"
She replied -- "O yes, the morning before we come, I always floss".

yikes -- 3 years later .. still dropping the "flossing" ball
Comment by Terreece M. Clarke on March 25, 2009 at 5:38pm
Ouch Suzy, yep I'm expecting that one at some point myself. And what do you say to that? You think to yourself, well the kid's got a point... Man honesty is something else...
Comment by suzy deyoung on March 25, 2009 at 3:50pm
I work as a parent coach helping parents deal with various issues with their children. Recently, during a heated exchange with my nine-year-old son, he screamed at me, "how can you expect to help other people with their children when you can't even control your own!" Sure silenced me for a while!




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