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By Jae Curtis
When your toddler tells a little white lie, such as “The cat ate my food,” it's almost cute. After all, you know that your little one isn't lying maliciously. But when it's your older kid who starts telling tall tales, you might be a little concerned—and with good reason. Older kids should understand the moral repercussions of lying, so it's an issue you'll want to address ASAP. If you gently let your child know the jig is up and encourage truth-telling, lying won’t become a major issue in your home.
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Call His Bluff
"Parents must confront their child or teen when lied to, or if their kid lies to someone else," urges Dr. Fran Walfish, a California-based child psychotherapist. "Accountability is the most important aspect of the act of lying. In other words, kids must own up to their actions and behaviors in order for truth-telling to be their norm."
Still, there are ways to call your kid's bluff without embarrassing him. Instead, do it gently and give him a chance to come clean. Try, "I know you said you didn't have any homework, but is there a chance you could have forgotten about your math assignment?" Taking a gentle approach lets your child know you're not trying to "catch him in the act" but you are giving him a chance to fess up.
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