The Ridgefield Prevention Council writes this article every other week through the generosity of The Ridgefield Press. In an ongoing series about The 40 Developmental Assets, #29 is Honesty.

Honest people are trustworthy, sincere, and genuine. They display dignity and earn respect from peers and others in the community. Although telling the truth is not always easy, teaching young people the value of honesty, is important. Without it, dishonest habits, such as lying and cheating, can become a big problem. Honesty is crucial for success in all areas of life, including relationships, school, and jobs.

Research shows that young people are more likely to grow up healthy when they tell the truth, even when it’s not easy. Honesty leads to less violence and reliance on alcohol and other drugs. About 66 percent of young people, ages 11-18, say they tell the truth even when it’s not easy, according to Search Institute surveys.

To instill the value of honesty, adults need to talk about it, model it, and explain why it’s important. Work with your family, school, and community to come up with rules about honesty and the consequences for dishonesty. Encourage the young people you know to make a personal commitment to tell the truth — and you do the same. Honestly admit your own successes and mistakes; https://www.youtherie.com/the-assets/40-developmental-assets.

LouAnn Daprato