Every child lies from time to time, and a little deception is typically not caused by panic. Lying, on the other hand, can become a severe problem if it becomes a habit. Teaching your child the concept of honesty also instills in them the values of personal responsibility, trust, and compassion. When kids perceive lying as a method to get out of trouble or avoid responsibilities, it can become a bad habit. So, if your child tells a falsehood, confront him or her and tell them that it won’t happen again.
Here are some methods to help a child stop lying but first, let’s learn why kids lie?
Why do kids lie?
Fantasy, bragging, or avoiding unpleasant repercussions are the three basic reasons why children lie. It might help you establish a plan to respond to the lie to identify the most likely reason for it.
Preschoolers are prone to making up lies. Ask your child, “Is it anything true?” if he or she says, “I went to the moon last night.” Or is it something you sincerely hope is true?” This can assist children in distinguishing between truth and fantasy. It’s okay to indulge in fantasy if your youngster is simply playing pretend—as long as everyone is aware that it is fiction rather than real.
If a child lies to brag, it could be due to a lack of self-esteem or a desire for attention. Learning new social skills and participating in positive activities to increase their self-esteem may be beneficial to them and eventually help a child stop lying.
Every child lies to get out of trouble at some point. Their deceptions must fail. Make it plain to your children that you will be verifying the facts, this can help a child stop lying. Another aspect of lying to avoid responsibility is that children may lie to get around expectations or do what they want. Omission lies, ignoring falsehoods, and partial truths are examples. For example, a child may pretend they need to use the bathroom to avoid unloading the dishwasher—they may use the toilet but never return to the kitchen.
Also, keep in mind that kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more likely to lie. The general ADHD characteristics of forgetfulness, impulsivity, and disorganisation can lead to a proclivity for deception, which is typically exacerbated by misconceptions.
For example, you might urge a youngster to put their toys away, and when they don’t, they may say that you never requested them to do so. It’s possible that this isn’t a lie, and they’ve simply forgotten about your directive. Do not, however, accept their diagnosis as a free pass. Simply keep in mind how ADHD may affect your child’s honesty and work to improve the skills and support they may require.
Make Telling the Truth a Household Rule
Create a specific home rule that emphasis the necessity of honesty and truthful communication as part of your family’s rules and values as this will help a child stop lying. This will show your children that you value the truth, even if it’s difficult to tell. Discuss the various types of falsehoods and the harm that each can do. Explain why you expect honesty and the numerous motives people have for lying.
Role Model Honesty
Model the conduct you want to see in your child, which involves always telling the truth . Kids don’t know the difference between “small white lies” and other lies. So, please don’t lie about your child’s age to get a cheaper restaurant meal for them, and don’t claim to be sick to get out of a social engagement you don’t want to go to. What your youngster sees you do, he or she will emulate, hence your truthful actions can help a child stop lying.
Discuss Telling the Truth vs Lying
It’s critical to explain the difference between telling the truth and lying to your child, regardless of his or her age as this is a crucial factor to help a child stop lying. Be mindful, however, that small children will not fully understand the difference between lies and truth until they are about the age of four. It could be beneficial to ask young children questions like, “Would it be true or false if I claimed the sky was green?” Discuss the possible implications of being dishonest, such as people losing faith in what you say.
It’s equally vital to discuss the difference between telling the truth and being brutally honest. Kids must learn that just because something is honest, it does not necessitate declaring, “That’s unattractive clothing,” or “You have acne.” Balancing honesty with compassion is a complex social skill that you should strive to instil in your students at a young age.
Also, discuss what would happen if your youngster is caught lying with your child. Discussing the repercussions of lying ahead of time can function as a deterrent and will also help you both know what to do if/when it arises.
Give a Warning
When you’re fairly certain you’ve caught a child lying, give them one warning. “I’ll give you one more chance to tell me the truth,” for example. If I discover you lying, you will face additional punishment”. It’s also a good idea to stress the consequences of being dishonest as this makes the child aware and eventually to help a child stop lying. Instead of condemning or criticising your child, focus on teaching accountability and honesty. Maintaining a calm and caring tone is also beneficial. Your youngster will be less likely to come clean if you are furious, yelling, or threatening.
Discuss Natural Consequences
Discuss the natural repercussions of lying with your child. Explain that being dishonest will make it difficult for you to trust them in the future, even if they tell the truth, this is a recommended way to Help a child stop lying. Explain to them that others are less likely to like or trust someone who has a history of lying.
If you catch your child telling the truth, praise him or her. “I know it must have been difficult to tell me that you shattered that dish, but I’m so glad you chose to be honest about it,” praise them. This will eventually help a child stop lying
Help Your Child Re-Establish Trust
Develop a plan to help your child re-establish trust if they have a poor habit of lying. Create a behaviour contract that ties increased rights to honesty, for example. They’ll be one step closer to regaining more privileges if they tell the truth.
Seek Professional Help
There are situations when children’s lying can become a significant problem hence it is extremely crucial to help a child stop lying . Seek professional help to address your child’s lying if it appears to be pathological or is causing problems at school or with classmates.
Every child will lie on occasion, but it is critical to catch dishonesty early so that it does not become a habit, and so that you can help a child stop lying. Kids lie for various reasons, but the most common and concerning one is to stay out of trouble. You’ll likely see a lot more honesty in your family if your child understands that you expect him or her to tell the truth (and that you constantly back up that expectation with penalties).
Teaching kids the importance of social skills and developing it in them from a young age, helps them understand the world better and the consequences that comes with lying. Personality development for kids, offered by LUMOkid, assists children and teenagers in learning stress, conflict, and anger management skills, as well as improving positive thinking, interpersonal skills, attention, and social etiquettes and appealing mannerisms.