The second Yama or restraint that one needs to practice as part of Self-realization or Yoga is the practice of Satya or Truth. Truth not only applies to speaking, but also implies practicing truth in action and thoughts. If you practice or do things that you shouldn’t be doing, such acts result in your covering up and speaking the non-truth. Gurudeva (Spiritual Guide) Bodinatha speaks of three different forms of non-truth – one that arises out of fear as in the case of a child being afraid of admitting a mistake; speaking falsehood to entertain others; non-truth that has a purpose to cause harm to others.
On a contrary note, non-truth when intended to prevent harm is considered a practice of truth – like when you need to save a person from pending personal danger. Talk to your children and give them examples of these different types of truth to instill in them a sense of right/wrong about truthfulness.
[From a March 2006 email sent to students]