Untangle the Web of Lies
Does your child baffle you with the lies he tells? What might baffle you more is why he tells them.
What You Need to Know
Children lie to avoid shame, embarrassment, humiliation, or punishment – the very same reasons adults lie. Most often, kids give lying a try simply because they're surrounded by it. It's a part of natural development, and not necessarily a pathological issue. However, repetitive, continued lying can be symptomatic of low self-esteem, attachment problems, or anxiety.
How You Can Help
- Help clear up mixed signals society might be sending by avoiding little white lies yourself. Bragging about talking your way out of a speeding ticket within your child's hearing range only perpetuates his understanding that lying can be the way to go.
- Set immediate consequences for lying that are directly related to the offense, such as having your child write a letter of apology to the person he lied to. If your child lied to cover up wrongdoing, offer two separate consequences – one for the wrong doing, and one for failing to tell the truth.
- Talk to your child about his choices and actions and motivations to help him see how his actions affect things like trust, security, friendships, freedoms, and responsibilities – and that lying is only a quick fix that creates longer term problems. Kindergarten age children see themselves as the center of the universe and are only aware of how they benefit from a lie, with no understanding of how it affects relationships.
- Create an environment that makes telling the truth easy by handling your child's problems and mistakes calmly. Don't respond with anger the next time your child tries to pull one over on you. Instead, help him understand that there are alternatives to lying that make everyone feel better, including himself.
For more on this topic, see the complete article:
Add your own comment
- Kindergarten Sight Words List
- The Five Warning Signs of Asperger's Syndrome
- First Grade Sight Words List
- Graduation Inspiration: Top 10 Graduation Quotes
- 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism
- What Makes a School Effective?
- Child Development Theories
- Should Your Child Be Held Back a Grade? Know Your Rights
- Why is Play Important? Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Creative Development
- Smart Parenting During and After Divorce: Introducing Your Child to Your New Partner