Strict parents raise the best liars. If you have read books on parenting, you might have come across this phrase several times. Children do not learn things in their mother’s womb. They learn what we teach them. Lying too is one of those things that they imbibe from us and their external environment.
Parents often throw a tantrum the moment they find out that their child has lied to them about something. Instead, take a different approach and find out why that lie was told in the first place. There can be several reasons which lead up to such a behaviour.
Following are certain reasons why your child started lying:
1. Prevent disappointment and self-protection
Often, children lie to protect themselves and prevent disappointing an adult (usually their parents). They think that they will be deemed as a problem child if they do not fabricate a particular situation. This leads to them telling small lies which then slowly build up to something big.
2. To avoid punishment
Most parents teach a mistake-consequence relationship to their kids from early on. This stirs them on a psychological level and they tell lies to avoid punishment for something that might not be so grave. Parents need to be more open to their kids so that they can talk fearlessly to their parents instead of fearing the consequence of a particular action.
3. Model examples
As mentioned earlier, our children learn from us. Parents often ask their kids to tell lies on their behalf, which might be absolutely harmless but is a lie nonetheless. Parents might lie in the household in some situations which might further lead the child to believe that it is okay to tell lies. These situations cannot be completely avoided, but you need to explain to your little one why you did what you did and how it was absolutely harmless.
Sometimes children may lie to hide their feelings and emotions. This usually happens when there is a death of a family member or a pet in the family. Your child might be dealing with painful situations that you may not be aware of. In such cases, do not hesitate to give them the help that they require. Parents often avoid taking their wards to a psychiatrist because they think that only a mental patient seeks the help of a psychiatrist. It is not so. There might be certain things that your children keep from you. In such a case it is advisable to seek help from a professional third party.
5. Gain and self-image
We are human beings and we a greedy. Do not forget that your children are humans too. They lie because of some gain that they might incur by telling the lie. It can be as simple as your child saying that he has not eaten any chocolates since morning (even though he has), just to gain one more toffee. Also, they need to protect their self-image and do not want to be called a ‘liar’ which is why they resort to covering up facts in certain situations.