Here’s How You Can Handle Your Child When He or She Lies
Much as you would rather pretend it never happens – children lie. And if yours hasn’t yet, it is likely that it is only a matter of time. Kids begin experimenting with lying at varying ages. Between the ages of 6 and 10, they begin to learn about what makes a lie a lie, and after the age of 10, they know exactly what a lie is. If you catch your children speaking untruths, you’ve got to nip it in the bud! Here are five ways of handling a child that tells lies!
Be A Role Model
Your children are observing everything you do. They are watching your every move, even if you don’t think they are. You are their primary role model if they spot you lying regularly, or even once, then you’re on your way to raising a liar, too! Even the smallest acts like making up stories to the neighbors, relatives, or telling a cashier they’ve given you the wrong change, are things your child might learn from you.
Don’t Blow Your Top
If you’re the type of person who loses your cool with ease, stay away from your little one when they’re lying. Your little Pinnochio will be less concerned about the reason you are angry and more concerned about how angry you are – and this is not what you want. To teach your kid that it is not ok to lie, you need to teach it the right way. Screaming, shouting, and punishing would only scare them and not teach them. Try discussing things with your child and asking them more questions to coax the truth out of them so that they know they can be safe with you.
Don’t Wait For It To Happen
Don’t wait for your kids to start lying before you talk to them about it. A good conversation opener about the topic of lies and lying is to tell the stories of The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, or Pinocchio just to open up the table to the discussion. Talk about lying and its consequences. This helps your child understand the concept of lying and why it is not acceptable.
Set Up Consequences
Speaking of consequences, it is important o have natural, logical consequences put into place should the event arise that your child does tell a lie. The consequences must naturally be relevant to the lie and in such a way that the child may be taught a lesson. For instance, if your child lies about packing the dishwasher while forgetting to do so, your punishment must be something like the child having to eat in paper plates for the rest of the week. Instead, what most parents do is, take away TV or gaming time and the child is constantly left thinking about what he is missing rather than the lie or his action that led to this punishment. Operating in this fashion will mean that your child gets punishment for having told a lie and they learn a life lesson that there are consequences or everything that you do.
Acknowledgment and Appraisal of Honesty
Children learn from rewards faster than they do from punishments. So, if you want your child to learn honesty, reward them every time they tell you the truth. If your kid owns up to a lie they have told, react in such a way that shows your child that you won’t be upset if they are honest.
This will encourage them in the future to be honest with you instead of lying. This is important because most kids are traumatized by childhood experiences where they were punished for confessing the truth. This would raise them to believe that they are safe as long as they can lie and keep it a secret.
As a parent, it is our job to help our children deal with problems effectively and lead them in the right direction. Many parents would rather pretend that their children are little saints who wouldn’t tell a lie – but these are the parents of the most untruthful children! Don’t let them get away with it! They will only develop worse habits and become adults with difficulties. Parenting certainly isn’t easy, but you’ll be grateful for having handled all of these issues one day when your kids are raising your grandkids!
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