Every one of us has lied at some point or the other, and continue to do so almost every 10 minutes. Even then, it comes as a big shock when you hear your child lie for the first time. A child will naturally learn how to lie – it is a part of the development cycle. But they must also need to learn the importance of the truth and how practising it is going to help them in life. Here is how to deal with a child lying to you and give them the message that being honest is important.
The reasons for lying:
In order to make a child understand what wrong is done by lying, you yourself first need to understand that why was a child required to tell a lie. They may do so to cover up something for which they think they might get into trouble. They can also do it to test your reaction to hear them lying. They sometimes lie to gain your attention by making themselves sound more interesting or to make their story exciting. Also, they do it to get something they want.
The age of lying:
Children can learn to lie as early as they start to pick on their speaking skills. They can be telling lies at an age as early as three years. They lie more when they are 4-6 years of age, and get better at telling them making it sound like an extensive story. Upon reaching school age, they start to lie more often and get really better at it. The lies are now more complicated as they have more words to craft them with and they can understand the thinking of the people much better now. By the time a child turns 8 years of age, he or she can lie without getting caught.
Encouraging them to speak the truth:
Once your child grows old enough to understand the difference between a truth and a lie, you must encourage them to tell the truth.
· Tell them how can lying, instead of getting them out of little troubles, could land them in even bigger troubles.
· When they own up having done something wrong, rather than of getting furious, tell them the consequences of their action but at the same time praise them for telling the truth.
· You should help your child in avoiding the situations where he or she feels the need to lie. More than often, it is parents themselves who put the children in situations like these by unnecessarily getting strict over trivial matters. This leads the child to lie if a similar situation arises in the future.
· A child may be need of praise and admiration if he or she is telling you stories and bragging in it. Make sure you tell them how proud you are of them and praise their little efforts as it boosts their self - esteem.
· A little strictness is also needed with children so that they are disciplined too. You must have a clear set of rules and regulations that need to be followed in the family and also the consequences of failing at them must be made clear to the child too.
· When your kids are young, read them stories and books that are about the importance of being honest. It instils a sense in their mind that honesty is always rewarded at the end, no matter what.