What should parents do when children lie?

What should parents do when children lie?

Children do not feel like talking to parents who are always under stress. They do not feel like conveying their ideas, thoughts and problems to such parents. Hence, it is necessary that the parents remain stress-free.

1. Effective role model – Parents need to be effective role models and ensure they don’t lie in front of their kids . Kids can’t distinguish “little white lies” from other lies. So, don’t lie about your child’s age to get cheaper tickets in an amusement park and don’t say you aren’t feeling well to get out of a social engagement you don’t want to attend.

2. Find out the reason for lying – Children lie for various reasons :-
• Active Imagination
• Bragging
• Speaking without thinking
• Avoiding Responsibility

3. Discuss Telling the Truth vs. Lying through stories.

4. Explain the Consequences of lying – Make a time to talk calmly with your child about how lying makes you feel, how it affects your relationship with your child, and what it might be like if family and friends stop trusting your child.

5. Always tell your child when you know that they aren’t telling the truth. But try to avoid asking your child all the time if they’re telling the truth, and also avoid calling your child a ‘liar’. This might lead to even more lying.

6. Make it easier for your child not to lie. You can start by thinking about why your child might be telling lies. For example, if your child is lying to get your attention, consider more positive ways you could give your child attention and boost their self-esteem. If your child is lying to get things they want, consider a rewards system that lets your child earn the things instead.

7. Lying about serious issues
Sometimes children lie or keep secrets about serious issues. For example, a child who has been abused by an adult or bullied by another child will often lie because they fear that they’ll be punished if they tell. You can help your child in the following ways :-

• Reassure your child that they’ll be safe if they tell the truth.
• Let your child know you’ll do everything you can to make things better.

8. Remain Calm – If your child says something you know to be untrue, stay calm. Reacting angrily, or with obvious dismay, will only make your child feel the need to tell additional lies to defuse the situation—and end up digging herself into an even deeper hole.

9. Truth Check – Give your child the opportunity to reconsider her answer. When you catch your kid in a fib, give her another chance to answer, with no consequences for lying. Whether this “truth check” is done immediately or a few hours later, it teaches kids to second-guess an untruthful answer.

10. Reward Honesty – Reward your child for his honest behaviour and specifically mention the reason for the reward to reinforce values of truthfulness and honesty in the child.

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