Has Your Child Been Lying Lately? Here’s How to Make Them Understand the Importance of Honesty!
While we find it cute when a child concocts stories, but sometimes the stories can get overboard and affect their growing up years, which may even turn them into pathological liars. However, since they are your kids, it is important not to resort to punishment right at the onset, it may make them lie even more.
So, if they ‘steal’ a toy and you assume the worst, there are better ways in making them own up and speak the truth. Here are certain strategies you can employ to tackle the problem with sensitivity.
Keep a Check on Your Responses
We know anger and frustration are the first lines of response when you catch your child lying. However, anger can make them withdraw into a shell and stop them from speaking the truth. Anger on your part can hinder their honest behavior. Instead, try and work on yourself first and try and be calm first.
Taking a few breaths helps them in this regard. Relax your face and clench and unclench your fists, to bring your agitated self into a state of calm. When you stop yourself from appearing threatening. You may even end up helping rattle their barrier and help them overcome their fears, and start confiding in you.
The Questions You Frame
Instead of rebuking them, start asking the right questions. ‘There were five chocolates and now there are only four.’ Instead of asking them, ‘Did you eat the chocolate?’ You give them a chance to speak for themselves; they may own up before you accuse them. In this way, one lie may not turn into another lie and turn it into a barrage of lies.
Create a Safety Net
Many children use lying as a trope to protect themselves from punishment. Some children may resort to lying to mask their shame and when they know that there is punishment coming their way. Try and demonstrate the importance of honesty or narrate stories of honesty.
Teach them that the path to honesty may be a difficult one, but at the end of it all, it is rewarding. Always, emphasize the value of honesty and reach them how to choose the straight and narrow path; the more fulfilling path.
Build a Relationship
Sometimes, there is an underlying reason, the reason why your child may be lying. Are your child feeling lonely, are you not being able to give them the time, they want. They may start concocting a fictional world to compensate for what they are not getting. Sometimes very young children blur the understanding of reality and fantasy.
So, while sometimes it may seem fun concocting an imaginary world, it becomes difficult to understand the difference as they start growing up, the imaginary world then offers more solace than the real one. This is why you should sit down and talk to your child about the importance of reality and how there is a clear line of demarcation between imagination and reality.
Make it Right
A child always learns from what they see and not what you teach them. So, put the scanner on yourself and see how many times during a day do you sneak in harmless lies. For example, someone calls you at the door, and to avoid them you ask your child to tell the person that you are not at home. Invariably you are setting a wrong example before your kid. It may seem harmless lying at the outset but it can have deep repercussions on your child’s mind.
Always act as you will want your children to act. Remember you as a parent are their greatest idols and they learn the most from you.
Focussing on the Positives
Lying has deep-seated repercussions, yes, you understand that but your kid may not. So it is important to make them understand that the lie she/he may have spoken yesterday hurt the person. Making them understand how other people may feel is the key to make them understand that lying is just a crutch and stronger people do not use that.
Lying becomes problematic after a certain time, so you as a parent may sit down with your child to make him/her understand how there are better ways to deal with a situation. It is important to make them understand that lying does not define them, and there are several ways to make the situation better.
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