From a cute little baby to the naughty little toddler, that’s bursting with energy – you have been a spectator of the different changes of your baby over the past few years. Now, he has grown old enough to get into school and start with one of the basics of his development as an individual.
One fine day, you discover that your child lied to you about something – and all hell breaks loose. It may be over a trivial thing, or it may be about something serious. Whatever the case, you may find it unacceptable to find your child lying to you, and feel very hurt and offended. Regardless of what you feel, it is now time to be strong and find out exactly why your kid had to move a step away from honesty.
Why Do Children Lie?
The first step into helping your kid develop positive values such as truth and honesty is to assess the problem at its core. Why exactly did your kid decided to lie instead of telling you the truth?
- Child behavior experts believe that there are a few common reasons behind why do kids lie to their parents and other elders. Here we’ve put down a list of some possible answers for that question:
- Your kid is very young, and doesn’t really understand the difference between a truth and a lie. Many preschoolers tend to ‘lie’, which is actually not lying in the first place, it’s basically an innocent fantasy.
- Your kid may be lying to escape the rules set down by you. For instance, he may lie to you about completing his homework so that he could go out and play.
- Your kid may be facing peer pressure at school, and in an order to make himself fit within the crowd, he may brag about different aspects of his life which may not necessarily be true.
- Your kid may lie to you in order to avoid punishment for anything wrong he might have done, or anything that he supposes will get you angry. Many kids lie to prevent themselves from getting into trouble. For e.g., they might have broken a valuable object, which is followed by a lie to cover that up.
- A lot of kids lie to their parents to grab their attention. Again, this is out of pure innocence and to grab the attention of the parent. Occasionally, your kid may also lie to you to avoid hurting your feelings.
[ Read: Jealousy In Kids ]
What Should Be Done?
Whatever be the reason, as a parent, it is your responsibility to inculcate the importance of honesty and truth in your child starting from the very beginning.
This will help you establish healthy rules in your kid and will make sure that he gets successful in his future and turns out to be wonderful human being.
10 Tips On How To Help Your Child Stop Lying:
Dealing with a lying child can be tough, but remember, it’s you who has to intervene and try to sort out the issue as a parent. Below is a list of simple tips that could help you encourage honesty and other positive values in your kid and discourage the habit of lying. For better results we have divided the pointers in two segments:
a. Tips for Immediate action.
b. Tips to remember for the long run
So, that you are able to deal with the problem more effectively.
a. Tips For Immediate Action:
1. Stay Calm:
This is one of the basic rules of parenting. No matter what the situation, getting all hyper and tense will only make it worse.
- Stay calm and try to focus on the positive aspects and how to deal with children who lie.
- Go easy on your kid – every child makes mistakes, and no need to be harsh on him for every tiny error that he commits.
- In fact, staying calm in a stressful situation will actually encourage your child to learn and control his emotions.
- Also will make him less likely to get angry and throw temper tantrums.
[ Read: Child Behavior Checklist ]
2. Don’t Call Your Child A ‘Liar’:
Calling your kid a liar will make the situation worse, if your kid is well within the understanding age and realizes the difference between a lie and the truth.
- It has also been observed that by telling your kid he or she is a liar could actually worsen self esteem and hamper his or her overall growth and progress.
- Making your kid feel ashamed for every single error isn’t going to help.
- As a parent, all you have to do is support and encourage your child to change his ways.
3. Focus On The Solution:
Make it a point to focus on the solution instead of the problem when it comes to helping your kid stick to the truth.
- Don’t lecture – be gentle and explain him why lying isn’t really good.
- Help your child understand how lying is a bad habit, and it could make him a less trustworthy person and put him in the bad light.
- Encourage him to speak out the truth, no matter how scary it may seem.
- A good idea is to take inspiration from some fairy tale stories.
[ Read: How To Discipline Your Child ]
4. Change Your Approach:
So you have noticed your kid lying to you about cleaning his room.
- Well, instead of asking questions like “why didn’t you clean your room?” ask him “I notice you didn’t clean your room… would you like to work on a plan to clean it?”
- By simply changing your approach, you can make your kid feel less ‘accused’ and he will actually be more likely to obey you.
- Don’t demonstrate your concern over your kid’s wrong habits openly in front of him.
b. Tips To Remember For The Long Run:
5. Don’t Punish:
It is very easy to punish a defenseless child for an error; you don’t even need to be his parent to do that! What’s difficult is the right thing to do – which is to deal with your kid in a calm and gentle manner.
- Spanking your child or hurting him with abusive words can never, ever solve a problem.
- In fact, it may leave bitter memories for your kid, which may actually impact his performance at school and in his social life too.
- Acknowledge that every kid is different, and has his own highs and lows.
- Appreciate the good qualities of your kid and help him improve on his shortcomings without being too obvious about it.
6. Understand The Reason:
Every action is motivated by a reason. Understand why your kid tends to lie instead of being honest. This may differ from person to person.
- For instance, if your kid brags about having visited Disneyland while he hasn’t actually done so, he could be suffering from low self esteem and may be trying to boost his confidence.
- If your kid lies about his marks at school, he may be under a pressure to achieve.
- Whatever it is, address it immediately, but sensitively.
[ Read: Life Skills For Children ]
7. Change Your Perspective:
Often, a shift of perspective is all you need to tackle a situation. You may have laid down a set of rules for your child which may not really be acceptable keeping in mind the current time.
- If you find your kid lying, your first step should be to analyze the scenario from your child’s perspective.
- Doing so will give you a fresh insight into tackling the issue.
- Your kid may be having issues in his school or may be pressurized by some situation at home. Understand that such issues can crop up genuinely and look for ways to help your kid face it.
8. Spend Some Time:
Giving your child some quality time is a must, especially during his crucial years of development. This will prevent lying if your kid has been doing it to get your attention, and you will also be able to encourage good habits in him easily.
- Make sure all the family members have a meal together and go out for short trips occasionally.
- You may be stuck with work, but remember – your child is your ultimate priority!
- Make sure your child is comfortable speaking to you and can rely on you for his problems and concerns.
9. Be A Good Role Model:
It is not fair to expect your child not to lie to you if you yourself are dishonest at some point, especially before his eyes.
- Make sure you set the best example for your child and be someone he can turn to when it comes to sorting out the worries.
- Believe it or not, your kid is actually analyzing you very carefully, and he will be less likely to lie if you too, don’t lie.
- So, be the perfect person you expect your kid to be.
[ Read: How To Motivate Children ]
10. Be A Support System:
You should always be there for child, even if he doesn’t live up to what you thought he was.
- Establish a good rapport with your kid and communicate with him as if you were his friend.
- Make sure you don’t overburden him with your expectations and let him enjoy his childhood.
- Once you’ve identified the reason behind your kid’s wrong behavior, you can easily approach him in a warm and supportive manner, and try to lessen his concerns which may be causing him to lie.
Lastly, explain your kid how a lie always gets caught, and that a negative aspect of life that shouldn’t be a part of him. Instead, speaking the truth is a symbol of courageousness and stability.
Hope this article will give you idea on how to help your child stop lying effectively. Implement a positive atmosphere at home – this will help the child learn and develop good habits, and will make him less likely to lie or develop other bad habits.
Do share your views and experiences with us.
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