Teaching Values to Preschoolers
"The Demonstration Game"
This game can help small children grasp the concept and know the terminology.
Ask, "Do you know the difference between something that's true and something that's not true? Let's see if you do. I'll say something and you say, "True" or "Not true." Start with simple physical facts and move toward things relating to behavior, for example:
- The sky is green. (Kids say, "Not true.")
- (Point at foot) This is my foot. (Kids say, "True.")
- Ants are bigger than elephants.
- We see with our eyes.
- We hear with our nose.
- Milk comes from chickens.
- Take a cookie out of a jar and eat it. Then say, "I didn't eat the cookie."
- Drop a toy on the couch. Then say, "Yes, I left my toy on the couch."
Then say, "You really can tell the difference between true and not true, can=t you? Do you know what it=s called when someone says something that=s not true? It's called a lie."
Now: "I'll say some more things and you say, "Truth" if it's true and "Lie" if it's not true."
- Pick up a dollar on the floor. Then say, "I didn't find a dollar."
- Give a bite of food to someone else. Then say, "No, I didn't eat all my food. I gave some of it to _______."
(Use illustrations appropriate to your child or children.)
Then ask, "Why is telling the truth better than telling a lie?" (So that everyone knows what really happened; so the wrong person won=t get blamed; so we can learn to do better, etc.)
The Honesty About Feelings Game
This will help small children realize that feelings are caused by what has happened -- and that it is okay to feel things and okay to tell others honestly how we feel. Go through a magazine (one with lots of ads and colored pictures) and point at faces saying, "How do you think he feels?" Then say, "Why do you think he feels that way?" Then say, "Is it okay to feel that way?"
Help children to identify feelings and their probable causes and to know that it's okay to feel those things and to tell other people how they feel.
Give Elaborate Praise
This encourages honesty on a day-to-day basis. Preschoolers will repeat behavior they receive attention for. They prefer positive attention (praise) to negative attention (reproval or punishment), but they prefer negative attention to no attention at all.
Therefore, when small children lie, try to give them as little attention as possible (other than quietly letting them know that you know it's not the truth). When they tell the truth, praise them extravagantly. And when they tell the truth in terms of admitting they did something wrong ("Who wrote on this wall?"), make the praise you give them for telling the truth outweigh the punishment or redress you give them for what they did. Preschoolers can understand the distinction and the separation between your displeasure with what they did and your pleasure with their truthfulness.
Listen to the parent discussion
Listen to the adventure
These files can be burned to CD or transferred to your mobile device.
Who Are You? (Download)
Little Lies (Download)
Alligator Lunch (Download)
The Only Way Out (Download)
Tell the Truth (Download)
One Word (Download)