Why do children lie and how to make them stop lying?
When parents discover for the first time that their child is lying, there is nothing in the world that prevents us from feeling some kind of pain in the heart. It does not matter if it is broken glass.
Most parents want our children to grow up with integrity and in a real environment. Children when they are young, are unaware of the moral implications of lying. This is because they often find it difficult to distinguish between the real and the imaginary. And they want only to please the elderly. Young children like to make up stories. These children often confuse reality a bit with fantasy.
Dr. Becky Kennedy, a psychologist and mother, says: “The line between fantasy and reality is a little darker for children than it could be for adults.”
Children will tell a lie every time they think telling the truth will get them in trouble. They see lying as a way of staying close to their parents, ensuring their biological survival and psychological safety. They are necessary for a child to grow and prosper.
“From an evolutionary point of view, our children need to feel safe with us, which means they need to feel that we want them close and love them. If telling the truth will make you feel ashamed and alone, you will feel compelled to lie to continue feeling good right now. “
It is difficult for them to discern between good and evil. Punishing them for acting badly and accustoming them to reacting out of fear could lead to them taking the path of lying even more seriously. When an accident occurs, such as the child breaking a vase. Parents must react in a certain way so that the child feels confident that they can tell the truth.
For example: “Okay, you can tell me what actually happened. I’m not going to punish you, I just want to know what we can do so that it doesn’t happen again and avoid a major accident. ”
Every child’s behavior comes with an emotion behind it. If parents are interested in what their children feel inside, they are much more likely to tell the truth.
When the lie does not stop.
If the approach is to make the child understand that he should not lie and yet he continues to lie, it is time to move on to the next level. This is when the child should be informed that their actions will have consequences. Punishment does not have to be excessive, but it must address lying.
For example, when a teenager should have done his homework and did not do it. He must be punished and forced to complete his work. But they must also know that telling the truth reduces their punishment. Parents should let their children know that there will be a reduction in their punishment due to honesty.
The Child Mind Institute recommends that parents let their children know that perfection is not an expectation. A “truth check” is suggested. When a child gives an answer, the parent gives him a few minutes to reconsider that answer.
Another example would be:
“I’ll ask you a question, and you might tell me something I don’t want to hear. But remember, your behavior is not what you really are. I love you no matter what, and sometimes we make mistakes. So please think about giving me an honest answer. “
This will ease the tension of the situation a little more and your child will feel more comfortable with you.