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Raising Children Topics..

 
You are here : home > Raising Children > Behavioral Problems > The Habit of Lying in Kids and Their Development

The Habit of Lying in Kids and Their Development




Often in young kids, lying is simply an outlet for their overactive imaginations. Read on to know how to recognise why kids lie, and how should you deal with their lies.


All parents like to think that their children will always tell the truth, but the fact is that almost all children experiment with lying behaviour at one time or another. Lying is a natural phenomenon, part of a child’s development, and most children tend to outgrow this behaviour. However, if you are deeply concerned with this issue or you find that this is increasing, you should first and foremost consider his age, circumstances and reasons for telling lies.


Why Children Lie?

Children have different reasons for lying at different ages. When a small kid of three years lies, perhaps he is unaware of the difference between fantasy and reality. He could simply be lying because he is creating a fun imaginative story in his head and wishes to grab everyone’s attention. Adults often encourage their children to create stories as they feel that it helps their children develop their imagination.

It is important to keep in mind that children live in an imaginary world where adult perceptions of black and white do not work. It is the duty of parents to observe and recognise whether their children are lying simply because they are unable to distinguish between fact and fiction or because they are consciously trying to hide something.


Common Reasons for Lying

Have a quick look at the reasons which may compel kids to lie.

  • Aspirations

  • Imaginative play

  • Fear of punishments

  • To gain attention

  • Wishing not to disappoint parents’ high expectations

  • Depression or grief

  • A desire to impress peers

  • Manipulate or set situations to suit themselves

What to Do When Your Child Lies?

It is hard to accept the fact that your child is a liar. But the best way to deal with this is to be positive and emphasize the importance of honesty in your family.


Tips for Encouraging Honesty in Kids

Here are some tips for encouraging honesty in kids.

Let Your Child Talk Freely

Help your child to avoid getting into any situations that makes him lie. Instead of directly asking questions where your child may feel the need to lie; you can bring up the conversation in a positive, non-confrontational manner that encourages your child to accept his fault constructively.

Boost Your Child’s Esteem

If your child boasts to earn respect and attention, try to boost his self esteem instead of praising his storytelling nature. Teach him to be proud of what he has and what he has accomplished rather than dreaming up lies to impress others. Use his wish to be better than he is constructively and encourage him to truly achieve what he is boasting about before actually showing off about it.

Be a Role Model

Make sure you practice what you preach! If you expect your child to be honest, you, too, need to be scrupulously honest and not stretch out the truth even mildly.

Appreciate Honesty

When your child accepts the truth even though he knows that he could be punished for his actions, appreciate his honesty and strength of character before patiently explaining the consequences his actions have.

Avoid Labelling Your Child

Avoid branding your child as a liar. This might negatively affect his behaviour and probably make dishonesty a compulsion for him.

Explain the Importance of Honesty

Be clear about your expectations. Tell him that lies are not going to be accepted in your house. Explain how being dishonest could affect his relationships with his family and friends. Also explain that one lie can give rise to hundred other lies and by telling truth he can be safe and away from dangers at times.

Keep in mind that if your child has been lying since a long time, it may take him some time to have confidence in himself and you before giving it up. Once he knows that he can come up to you no matter what happens; he will stop lying.

If your child lies repeatedly and frequently even after you have explained the consequences to him, you can consult a child behaviour expert to get more recommendations after assessing if this behaviour is caused by something much more severe than an imaginary mind or urge to show off to his friends.


Why kids lie at different ages and how does it affect their development? How to prevent kids from telling lies? How help kids to get rid of the habit of lying? Discuss here.

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6 Comments
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Swapna.3 years ago
understanding the reason behind their lies is just as important. why are our kids lying? if we can answer that, then we can take away the cause of the lying..
 
 
 
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Amish.3 years ago
a great article. we should try to be a good role model for our kids.. if we avoid lying, our kids will too....
 
 
 
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Sarbani.3 years ago
The most important thing to do would be to ensure that the lines of communication are always open between parent and child.. That way, hopefully, children will not see the need to lie..
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