I have always tried to teach my children how important it is to be honest and truthful. I can specifically remember conversations where they would say, "But if I tell you the truth, I will get in trouble." The answer to that was, "If you don't tell the truth you will be in worse trouble." It was kind of like taking them to the doctor. You never tell a kid that a shot won't hurt. They will justifiably hate and distrust both you and the doctor. You set the example by telling the truth. "It will hurt to get the shot, but only for a little bit and it will keep you from getting really sick."
I can remember "Calvin coming home from middle school one day and telling me how he found an Texas Instrument calculator (these cost well over $100) in the bathroom at school. He turned it in to the Principal's office. He was also totally confused by the fact that the Principal made such a big deal about him being honest and turning it in, rather than keeping it. I remember him saying "What's the big deal? Isn't that what you are supposed to do?" Sadly, I had to explain to him that there are a lot of people in the world, in his school that would have kept it, and who wouldn't have cared that it was someone else's loss.
I always drove the kids to and from school. There is a story behind that, but we will get into that later. At any rate, I picked the kids up and I always asked how their day was. One particular day Calvin burst out "Fine, I might as well tell you now because I know you are going to find out anyway...." He proceeded to tell me about some minor trouble that he got into. I don't even remember what he did because I was so taken back by his response.
It is hard to raise kids by principals such as truth and honesty and character. There are so many people who are succeeding here on earth by doing the opposite. Look around you. How many people do you see who are successful because they did the wrong thing?
I know I have been harping on professional athletes, but our kids look up to them. How many have become successful because of performance enhancing drugs? How many have broken the law as college athletes and had their infractions covered up or overlooked because their talent was more important to the coaches than their character? And for that matter, how about the coaches who do the overlooking and covering up and who break the rules of the organizations they are part of just to win!
Stick to your principles and teach your children that there are consequences to their actions. Help them understand that even though it looks like the liar and cheater is winning right now, eventually it will catch up to him or her. It always does. God has his own timeframe for that, and it is not our job to judge it is our job to do the right thing and teach doing the right thing. Hang in there parents. You are not alone, there are others trying to teach their children the same things. The rewards for you come when your child does the right thing without needing to understand that there was a wrong option.
Wife, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Nurse, Grandmother, Friend...that's me in a nutshell!