As your child grows physically and mentally, he also grows smarter. With exposure to the world filled with all kinds of people, he learns how to circumvent problems and get past everyone in difficult situations. From all their experiences, they pick up good and bad habits, one of them being telling lies. As a parent, how should you deal with your child lying? Here are 11 ways of dealing with this problem.
11 Ways of Dealing with Child Lies
Stay calm and collected
You might feel insulted that your child should resort to lying, but don’t let your anger make you do things you’ll regret later. It’s better to be rational and cool and ask your child why he lied and what he hoped to get out of it. Besides, a calm parent can communicate better. First, you’ll need to tell your child that such an act is wrong and then ask him why he did it. Often, children lie to avoid anger more than avoiding punishment.
Understand the need for lying
Children can lie either because they are frightened of getting into trouble, or they need attention, are scared of being rejected or indulge in a lot of fantasy and pretense. Ask your child why he lied and help him get over the reason for lying. Once you know what’s bothering him, you can find ways of curbing this lying habit. However, be patient and kind when dealing with him, because strictness will make him withdraw or give him a mental breakdown.
If your child is a congenital liar, it’s not right to punish him. Instead, curb this habit by instilling some discipline in him.
Make a pact with your child
Make your child promise that he will always be honest. Tell your child what might happen if he lies in the future. Instill in him your expectations of him as an honest child.
Build an environment of trust and closeness
To get rid of the habit of lying, you need to build trust and closeness in your relationship with your child. Let your child know that you love him unconditionally and that you will always be there for him if he needs help to get over his lying habit.
However, take care not to call him a liar as he can just continue being one, as if in retaliation. It would be more prudent if you remained patient and worked with him to stop lying. You can also reward him when he speaks the truth.
Don’t accuse him, give him the benefit of the doubt
Don’t accuse your child for lying, perhaps he did it in a moment of weakness. Instead, give him the benefit of the doubt by just checking on his future behavior for a while. You can also take him into confidence and tell him your concerns and suspicions. This will open your child’s eyes to the fact that you are on his side, that you trust him and he will be more honest.
Be a role model
Your child is perhaps too small to know how to react in day-to-day situations. He needs your guidance, particularly if you want him to be an honest individual. For this, you need to be a role model for him. Your child is looking to you for support and acknowledgment of his general behavior. So, it’s important that you be his role model and guide.
Observe the ways your child expresses himself
These could be verbal and non-verbal means of expression. Your child’s honesty level is linked with his self-awareness level. Your child might not want to get into the details of what’s happening in his life, so he might keep his replies to your questions really brief. Probably, he can’t deal with anything happening to him. So, it’s important to note how he conveys the truth— his facial expressions, posture, gestures, etc.
Let your child share everything with you
You needn’t agree with everything your child says, but if he senses that you’re being anxious or judgmental, he might not open up to you. To ensure that there’s an ongoing dialogue between you and your child is to see where you’re stuck and to deal with those issues. If your child asks you questions about sexuality, don’t freeze or balk at them. Face them full on and answer all your daughter’s queries. This will open up a line of communication between you and your child and one based on honesty.
Apologize to them if you aren’t honest
Impress on your child that you depend on them to speak the truth, but they can decide if they want to be honest with you or not. It takes two to build trust and you must be willing to go on this journey with your child. In the rare instance that you lie, apologize to your child immediately before he blames you for being a sham.
Give him books to read or read them to him
Depending on his age, you can either read him books with an honesty angle or let him read them. Some suggestions are The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, Pinocchio and Ananias and Sapphire from The Bible.
If you want to raise honest children, always be a role model to them as they will grow into honest adults only if their roots are strong.