~Disclosure: I am part of the PTPA Brand Ambassador Program with Harvest Time and received compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.~
Since the beginning of the year we’ve been fighting two great battles with our children on different playing fields. What began as small innocent lies with my teen began to grow into more serious ones; then my youngest began to believe that making up stories was more amusing than telling the truth. I had to consider my approach to teaching my children about honesty, but where to start was the question. So a little over a month ago I was offered the opportunity to try Harvest Time’s Principles of Our World Kit, because the honest thing was, I needed help.
Harvest Time is a personal and professional development company that helps individuals, families and organizations reach their full potential. They do this through a series of books and conversation games based on principles.
- Self Control
Each of them is associated with a character, a sort of higher conscious that helps each person along in their stories. In the example of Honesty, there is a story about Jenny and her younger sister Elizabeth having fun in the playroom. Jenny goes to get a glass of milk and brings it back to the room where it accidentally gets spilled because of a ball. Jenny’s mother had asked what happened and it is up to her to figure out what to do. She is scared she will get in trouble and thinks that if she blames it on Elizabeth she won’t be in as much trouble. This is where The Principle of Honesty steps in and explains that it is somewhat scary when you don’t know what may happen by being honest, but reminds her of what had happened and how it is important that she is honest.
Ultimately it was up to Jenny to decide if she wanted to tell the truth, but the Principle stayed with her and in the end she learned a very valuable lesson.
Each of the stories in the book deal with similar situations in different aspects of our lives.
- Honesty in Our Home
- Honesty in Our School
- Honesty in Our Parents
- Honesty in Our Work
The stories come in very handy with Tot who has always learned best through books. One thing that it has certain helped with is teaching the difference between Honesty and a Right Answer. Let me give an example.
Sometimes it is hard for Tot to discern between what is the right answer and the truth. We can ask what he did in P.E. one day and are pleased when we hear that he got to ride the scooters. He associates this with being the correct answer. The next day we will ask again and he will give us what he believes is the correct answer (riding scooters) rather than what they actually had done that day. This is reflective of what we call “white lies”, ones that bend the truth to what we think people want to hear. Although it seems innocent now, history has shown me with my teen that little innocent lies can eventually turn into much more serious ones down the road.
The nice thing is that you can back up the story books with practice by using the Face to Face Conversation Game. There are 3 different sets of these cards: Kids Edition, Teens Edition and Dinner Party Edition. In each of them they have scenario questions that open up and welcome conversation. This allows you to be completely honest about what you would do in a situation and to offer explanations. Face to Face isn’t only about honesty, because to be honest you must also have courage.
Each of the cards offer a different perspective: Parent, Child, Work & Life and School. When you choose a card you have to answer based on that theme. Such as, if you choose a Child card then you must answer as if you were the child.
This is also similar to how you play the Abundant Harvest Game, our personal favorite teaching tool! It has both the Kids and Teens & Adults versions. What better way to teach your whole family about honesty then by having them see a reflection of cause and effect.
You can play with 2-8 players. Each person is given a pawn with a different principle on it of their choice; also one person will act as the Accountant who gives out the Harvest Time rewards. These rewards are: Abundant Harvest (20 points), Modest Harvest (10 points) and Poor Harvest (5 points). As you move along the game board and land on spaces you receive different rewards for different actions.
Then, the player will choose a Scenario Card and based on the color of the space, they would choose the corresponding scenario (Child-Yellow, School-Blue, Parent-Red). After they read the scenario card out loud, they have 30 seconds to choose a principle from the Principles Card to determine how they would respond to the scenario. Then players are allowed to offer advice on the decision.
The winner is the one at the end of the game who has the most Harvest Rewards.
Since Tot is little and the game is typically for ages 7 and up, we just remove the time allotments and help him to understand the scenarios and which of the principles would work best. In this way we make it more of a cooperative family game.
The important thing is to work to understand different situations, what actions you would take based on the principles and being able to have open discussion with each other about choices, decisions and the importance of understanding.
The Principles of Our World from Harvest Time has been such an amazing tool for my family. My Tot is not the only one who has learned so much from it. It is amazing how much closer and open we have become as a family through these conversation games and books. If you are also faced with teaching your children about honesty, consider looking into Harvest Time and all they offer for families.