How punishment can affect children’s honesty?

How many thousands of times have you heard the phrase “spare the rod, spoil the child”? The idea is that if a child is not punished for bad behavior, they will become spoiled.

But research has shown that this concept may or may not always hold. Punishing children can lead to them being less honest in adulthood. Let’s take a look at both flipsides of how punishment can affect a child’s honesty.


Too harsh punishment equals more lies

A punishment that is deemed too harsh may adversely affect the children’s self-esteem, confidence, and, subsequently, honesty levels as adults. For example, a parent may use harsh punishments such as spanking/slapping their children for destructive behaviors; but these punishments could create tension between the child and adults.

It leads to adverse effects on child’s trauma, anxiety disorders, and long-term confidence, which subsequently molds them to be sneaky, dodgy, and dishonest. Instead, try to use milder forms of punishments (such as time outs) and rewards (for good behavior) which definitely might work better at influencing both short-term obedience and future honesty levels.

More reactions may cause more dishonesty

Children are often punished out of frustration, not anger, making it harder for the parent to control their own emotions. If you punish your child every time they tell a lie and then one day they get caught telling another one, your reaction may only worsen their problem with lying.

This is a habit of human beings. For example, if someone tells you that your shirt doesn’t match and they’re right, it’s perfectly normal to get angry with them for pointing out the truth even though it might be uncomfortable at first. Instead of focusing on punishing your child every time they lie, try to figure out why exactly do they lie in the first place.

Punishing without explanations equals more dishonesty

They are punishing children when it’s unclear what they’ve done or why is an ineffective way of teaching them honesty. This kind of behavior is only going to make them more confused about right and wrong. Instead, it’s better to focus on giving an apparent reason why a particular rule applies, especially when you want your children to do something.

For example, if they are not allowed in the pool without supervision – let them know why this rule exists to understand what honesty means. All in all, it’s normal for children to lie. It just shows that they’re still growing up and developing their own “code of conduct” You can teach them how important honesty is but don’t be too strict with consequences if you want your child to stay honest.

Punishing bad and not rewarding good

Punishment can affect a child’s honesty because it teaches them that telling the truth is not always rewarded. When you punish their children for bad behavior, it doesn’t teach them that they might have misbehaved because of something they did; instead, it teaches them that telling the truth is not always rewarded.

This practice can damage someone’s integrity in adulthood – especially if you’re punished every time you tell a lie. For example, imagine your child comes home with another failing grade on his report card. Still, instead of responding with positive advice for getting poor grades, you punish him by taking away his favorite toy – he’ll likely be less honest with you in the future. Instead, try to focus on rewarding good results and behaviors! That way, your child will learn that telling the truth is always rewarded because honesty is more important than anything else.

Punishing without a role model

Punishing a child for dishonesty when the family members are not good role models will make the child more dishonest. For Instance, if you expect your daughter to tell the truth and yet it’s a common habit to lie in the house, It’s not realistic, and it’s not going to teach him anything positive; on the contrary – this will make him even worse! He’ll feel like there is a double standard between what adults require of children and how they behave in front of their kids.

Understandably, many parents want their children to be honest because it is an integral part of being a good person, but they should be trustworthy themselves, whether in front of kids or by nature! This exercise can make it easier for them to teach honesty to kids who see this behavior every day.

Not punishing at all is equally dangerous

If dishonesty goes unpunished (mild reasonable punishment), it may cause some children to lie more often. Children may begin to think that they won’t get in trouble for lying and will likely lie more often when they’re older. For example, a child might sneak some candy from your cupboard even though they know it’s against the rules; if you let them off with a warning or punishment, then don’t be amazed if you catch them next time; there is no reason why they shouldn’t do it again! Instead of overlooking the bad habit, try to focus on milder forms of punishment such as time outs and natural consequences.

Punishing causes guilt in child leading to more dishonesty

If a child lies out of innocence or genuine fear, they may punish themselves for the guilt of lying. Some children might lie because they feel guilty about doing something wrong or upsetting someone, so this is a way to make themselves look better in other people’s eyes. It can be difficult for parents to find out the truth in these cases, but punishment doesn’t always have to come into play!

Instead of punishing your child when they tell you that they didn’t do something wrong on purpose – try giving them a big hug instead! This practice will show them that even if they’ve done something embarrassing or shameful, They’re still loved unconditionally by their parent(s), which matters most as part of being honest with yourself before others.


Even though it’s essential to teach children honesty, punishment isn’t always the best way of handling bad behavior. Kids should understand what they’ve done wrong but don’t forget about rewarding good results too. If both parents and kids know why rules exist – it will be much easier than just punishing every single lie.

Finally, remember: lying is not always meant to hurt someone, so try not to take them personally if your kid lies frequently. Don’t punish them every time because it won’t help anyone solve any problems but instead give advice on avoiding destructive behaviors.

Last Updated on September 24, 2021