Unfortunately, we’ve all witnessed a child telling a lie to their family or friends. Understanding why a child decides to tell lies is just the beginning of fixing the problem at hand. So, how do we work with the child to ensure the lying doesn’t continue?
Kids tell lies for several reasons. They may not want you to find out what happened if they think there’s even a small chance they’ll get in trouble. In addition, they may need attention in some way. Determine what the reasoning was before working through the resolution.
It’s important to help them understand why what they did was wrong. Did they tell a lie in the hope you wouldn’t find out what really happened? Consider taking a closer look at how you present yourself to the child. Are you open and inviting with both verbal/nonverbal communication with them?
Be sure to present yourself as a parent in the best manner possible when faced with your children not wanting to tell the entire truth. Also, it’s crucial to share how you feel when you’re told a lie. Were you upset or confused when your child responded by lying to you? Voice that. Share with them that you were hurt and disappointed that they would lie to you. Get to the root of the issue, and make sure everyone understands why they responded the way they did.
Working to handle your child’s lies depends on the age of the child when they decided to lie. For instance, when they’re little, they’re much easier to redirect than when they’re a teenager. However, it’s important to note that no matter what age they are, they listen to everything that you as a parent say or do.
Stay reminded of your verbal/nonverbal approach. Be certain that you’re opening yourself up to receive information, both good and bad. Next, work to figure out and understand why the child responded by lying to you. Make sure they know what will happen if they’re caught in a lie, and stick to the predetermined consequences. Finally, share feelings that go along with being lied to, and work to create a communicative relationship that encourages honesty.
If you stay mindful of how you’re perceived, understand why they’re acting out in the form of lying, and work to drive home the fact that honesty is the best policy, your child will decide to follow your rules.
Taylor Lee is a freelance writer and Family Transformation Coach. Visit her blog post at www.accomplishedfamily.com.