How To Stop Your Kids From Lying
Parenting is a tough job! At the end of the day, most mommies and daddies can’t help but wonder how their own parents must have felt. However, instead of being hard on yourself, remember that it’s normal to struggle as a first-time parent. If your child is 5 years old, then so are you as a mother or father. As they learn while they grow, so do you. But some parents have to deal with difficult and stubborn children. Whether your child has a habit of stealing, lying, or choosing to eat only fast food, problems like these can become grave if they are not addressed in their early stages. Lying is a very common problem among children of all ages. Instead of letting them get away with it —thinking it did no harm — parents should deal with them in the right way. Here’s how:
Understand First Why Kids Lie
It is extremely important to understand why kids lie in the first place. Kids of different ages lie for different reasons. If you have a toddler at home who is highly imaginative and talks about things that have not happened, it can’t be considered lying. Neither is it sensible to punish the child for lying. Instead, let them know subtly that you know it is a lie, and you do not approve. Just do not try to prove that he or she has been lying. As for pre-schoolers, they can be quite imaginative at times. They can make up big stories that often tell the parents of their own wishes and desires. School-going kids are old enough to lie in order to save them from something. They might say they are ill if they have a test at school for which they were not prepared. Mostly they are afraid how their parents might react to certain situation.
Stop Confronting Or Punishing Them
Now that you know that they lie mostly because they are afraid of you, it would be wise not to punish them when you find out about their misdeeds. If you can’t make them comfortable enough so that they can discuss their problems with you, then their lying will never stop. Most children lie out of fear. If you want to punish them anyway, make them do chores instead of scolding them, taking away their electronic devices, or cutting their TV time short. At least, with chores, they will be productive. For example, tell them they will need to clean up after dinner for a week for lying.
Teach Them By Example
Children learn by watching and observing. You may be teaching them to be honest and tell the truth all the time. But, if you lie in front of them, even if it is a white lie, they will learn from you. For example, children under five might get free meals in a hotel, and even if your child is six, you might tell them that they are five to get it for free. As a role model for your child, you need to be absolutely honest in front of them. Remember, your kids are watching and they will imitate what they see as they are highly impressionable when they are young.
Appreciate Their Honesty
If your child did something wrong, and despite that, told you about it without hiding, appreciate this kind of honesty first. Also explain how being truthful has helped build trust between you two. Emphasize the importance of being trustworthy. Additionally, link a few rewards to your kid for being honest. So that they know that doing the right thing has some incentives, too.
Teach Them About Honesty And Involve Them In Activities
Teach them about honesty, not just by preaching it to them but by telling them stories with morals. The Boy Who Cried Wolf, The Emperor’s New Clothes, and Pinocchio are good examples of this kind of stories. Also, help them develop an interest in creative writing or story writing. This way, they can give shape to their imagination. This will lessen the need to tell tall tales.
Start inculcating values in your kids from a young age. They are quite impressionable, hence, if they are lying, they must have learned it from their surroundings. Establish a rule in your house that everyone should tell the truth. Teach them to speak up and be truthful even when it is hard. If things are, however, not working the way you want it to be, and your child has become a compulsive liar, take help from professionals while they are still young. Or else, you might be putting their future in jeopardy!
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