Parents get concerned when they come across the habit of lying in children. It is a must to nip such habits in the bud and take preventive measures. Have a quick look at the tips for preventing the habit of lying in children.
Lying is a habit that has a negative effect on personal and professional relationships in a very negative way. Once the first signs of lying are identified you need to do something to prevent them from being forged into habits.
Dealing with Toddlers and Preschool Kids
Very young children do not get the idea that what they are saying is not true. Small children are highly imaginative and they often make up stories which they believe to be true. Such kids are also very scared of consequences like having their toys snatched away or being scolded. Lying is just a defence mechanism for them to be shielded against such situations. As a parent you have to deal with such kids with great sensitivity.
Using a calm tone of voice and a firm approach say “I think that the story you are telling is not completely true”. Explain to your kids why telling the truth is important and necessary. Negotiate choices with your kid make sure that he or she has a say in the choices affecting life. This way your preschooler will gradually stop lying.
Dealing with Middle School Kids
By this age children begin to understand that there are definite consequences of their actions. The more severe the fear of punishment in their minds; the stronger is the urge to lie. Where school going kids are concerned it is okay to say that “this is a lie and we do not like lies” you can also explain to school going kids how lies erode the base of relationships and destroys trust.
Make sure that you never ever lie in front of your children. Once you lie you will never be able to justify lectures on being truthful. Address the issue which triggered the lie and the lie has lesser chance of repeating itself.
Dealing with Preteens and Teenagers
This is the age when your kids are apt to be at crossroads where they feel that no one really understands them. There is a growing sense of distance with parents as well and the open friendliness of childhood is gone. Teenagers need to be made to understand that any attempt at independent action will not result in punishment. Once they get this fact they will restrain themselves from lying.
Let your teen know that you have caught the lie and do not approve of it. Let your teen also know that next time on it is better to come up clean on a subject as you will not oppose his or her actions unless absolutely necessary. Explain the consequences and future repercussions of lies to teens as they are old enough to understand.
Using the Extra Consequence Rule
If you child does not stop lying even after you have asked him or her multiple times then it is time to talk about consequences. Explain that the next time your child is caught lying there will be consequences. Children must learn to face the result of their actions. For example, instead of just snatching away toys make your kids sign up for voluntary work or do extra chores. Taking away privileges is also a good technique to stop kids from lying.
Appreciate your kids when they have been honest with you and praise them for saying the truth. They will remember the appreciation and will subsequently do everything to keep up their good image. Say things like “I know it must have been so difficult to confess but I am glad that you chose to speak out the truth.”
With a little tact and a lot of intelligence you can easily prevent your kids from lying and nurture their latent spirit of honesty.
What leads to the development of the habit of lying in children? How to break the habit of lying in children? What are the ways to prevent the habit of lying in children? Discuss here.
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- The Indiaparenting Team