How to Deal with Children Who Lie?
Deeksha | 31-Dec-2018
A sheepish look, not meeting your eye, sweaty palms and fidgeting. Did you instantly relate to this to the picture of your child? If you did, then you probably spent sleepless nights worrying about why your children lie to you. It’s highly common these days for children to lie about things ranging widely in magnitude. So, when do you suspect your children? As teenagers, they will lie about their feelings and fears. What should you do as parents? It isn’t possible to stop lying because it will inevitably happen again. Depending on the frequency of the lies and their intensity, take a call on what measures are to be taken. So, how do you put an end to lying or at least ensure it doesn’t cross a line? Here are a few ways to deal with it:
1. Lying is bad but don’t dwell on it
We have all been given value education that is instilled in us that,“only the bad guys lie.”Hence, the first time you make a big deal of your child lying, it only enforces in them that they have been bad and that’s a terrible burden to carry. The fear and pressure of wanting to be good only adds to the mix. In his/ her mind, the child wants to get back into your good books. So, the next time they mess up, to avoid a bad name, they lie again. The real message doesn’t even get across to them. Always remember to tell your children that it is normal to feel inclined to lie, but it is easier in the long run if they say the truth. Lying shows the temporary way out, but the truth is a permanent card. Once it’s out, there’s no building on it.
2. Make them understand the consequences
No, not just a lecture about how lying is bad and affects everybody around us.Educating your child by saying that cotton candies are harmful for his/her teeth is not going to have the desired effect. Instead, tell him/her upfront that cavities are extremely painful, and you are just not equipped to handle dental treatment now. Restrict his/her candy, don’t ban it. Tell them that they are responsible for their body and they can keep it whichever way. But make them understand that lying about it and keeping you in the dark hurts. If and ever he/she requires medical attention, it will be you running to her aid and not her friends.So, you deserve to know.
3. Know how to react
A bad grade or a suspension from school is not the end of the world. It is okay if your child does not make it into the A schools. If you blow your top when you see an F on your child’s grade card, the poor thing sinks a little on the inside. Not everyone can do everything and you as a parent know it best. Don’t impose quantum physics on a journalist or ballet on the baseball champ. Not that you would, but if they aren’t happy with something you chose for them and fail at it, simply accept it and look at what’s best for them. Focusing on all that you lost or what could have been will only force your child to lie about failure in the future.
4. Build a positive environment for your child
A direct confrontation with your child about their lying habits will only make them more insecure. They will dive deeper into the shell they have created for themselves to avoid facing reality. A direct consequence of this is an increase in lying. Build a positive environment for your child letting them know that it is totally understandable to mess up occasionally. Celebrate their little successes to make them feel motivated.
5. Be sure of yourself
What your child does or doesn’t do is not a complete reflection of you as a parent. Always remember that you do less than half the job when it comes to your child’s character development. Society, peers, social media and the internet have a much larger role to play. If your child lies, do not blame it on yourself. There really is only so much you can do which is both a good and a bad thing. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
Never forget that when the world makes your young ones fall on their knees, you’ll be the one running to help. Society brings them up, but you set it right. Sounds unfair? Not really. You are part of the society that raises your children too. In fact, you are raising them to be a better part of that same society. So, work towards creating a responsible citizen.
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