16 Ways to Encourage Learners to Tell the Truth

Are you looking for ways to encourage students to tell the truth? If so, keep reading.

1. Assist the student in understanding that by exaggerating the truth, they may even come to believe what they exaggerate, and that exaggerating may become a routine (schedule).

2. Teach the student to think before acting (e.g., they should ask themselves, “What is happening?” “What am I doing?” “What should I do?” “What will be best for me?”).

3. Create a system of shared responsibility

4. Observe the student closely to monitor the accuracy of the statements made.

5. Refrain from making accusations that would increase the likelihood of the student making inaccurate statements in response. If it is known that the student is responsible, an admission of guilt is not appropriate to deal with the situation.

6. Refrain from putting the student in a situation in which they have the chance to lie, deny, exaggerate, etc., (e.g., highly competitive learning activities, situations with limited supervision, etc.).

7. Connect with parents to disseminate information about the student’s progress. The parents may reinforce the student at home for making accurate statements at school.

8. Make sure the student knows that not being honest when confronted will result in more negative consequences than telling the truth. Be sure to be very consistent in this approach.

9. Talk with the student to explain (a) what the student is doing wrong (e.g., lying, denying their behavior, etc.) and (b) what the student should be doing (e.g., reporting accurately what has occurred or will happen).

10. Praise the student for making accurate statements: (a) give the student a concrete reward (e.g., privileges such as leading the line, handing out learning materials, 10 minutes of free time, etc.) or (b) give the student an informal reward (e.g., praise, handshake, smile, etc.).

11. Attempt to have an open, honest relationship with the student. Urge the student to tell the truth, but do not use threats to make them tell the truth (e.g., “You had better tell the truth or else!”).

12. Draft an agreement with the student stipulating what behavior is required (e.g., making accurate statements) and which reinforcement will be implemented when the agreement has been met.

13. Consider using a classroom management app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

14. Consider using an adaptive behavior management app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

15. Consider using Alexa to help the student learn to behave appropriately. Click here to read an article that we wrote on the subject.

16. Click here to learn about six bonus strategies for challenging problem behaviors and mastering classroom management.

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