Thursday, May 28, 2020 | ePaper

Stop child from lying

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Md Altaf Hussain :
Lying is a skill all children learn. It is a tool for avoiding blame or punishment, and for shoring up a poor self-image. Most children tell lies at some point, but it can be a surprise the first time you hear your child lying. Learning how to lie is part of a child’s development - but so is learning to tell the truth. Here’s how to give your child the message that honesty is important.
Lying can become a bad habit when kids see it's an effective way to get out of trouble, however. So when your child tells a lie, address it in a straightforward manner and discourage it from happening again.
Why kids lie
 Most parents think children lie to get something they want, avoid a consequence or get out of something they don’t want to do. These are common motivations, but there are also some less obvious reasons why kids might not tell the truth - or at least the whole truth.
When do children start lying?
Children can learn to tell lies from an early age, usually around three years of age. This is when your child starts to realise that you aren't a mind reader, so he can say things that aren't true without you always knowing.
Children lie more at 4 to 6 years. Your child might get better at telling lies by matching her facial expressions and the tone of her voice to what she’s saying. If you ask her to explain what she’s saying, she’ll usually own up.
As children grow older, they can lie more successfully without getting caught out.
The lies also get more complicated, because children have more words and are better at understanding how other people think. By adolescence, children regularly tell white lies to avoid hurting other people’s feelings.
Help your child re-establish trust
If your child has a bad habit of lying, develop a plan to help him re-establish trust. For example, create a behavior contract that links more privileges to honesty. When he tells the truth, he’ll be one step closer to earning more privileges back.
To test out a new behaviour
One reason children lie is because they've discovered this novel idea and are trying it out, just as they do with most kinds of behaviors, to see what happens. They’ll wonder, what happens if I lie about this situation? What will it do for me? What does it get me out of? What does it get me?
Talk about telling the truth versus telling a lie
No matter how old your child is, it’s important to explain the difference between telling the truth versus telling a lie. With young children, it can be helpful to say things like, “If I said the sky were purple, would that be the truth or a lie?” Talk about the potential consequences of being dishonest.
Role model honesty
Role model the behavior you want to see from your child-that means telling the truth all the time. Kids can’t distinguish ‘little white lies’ from other lies. Therefore, don’t lie about your child's age to get him the cheaper meal at a restaurant and don’t say you aren’t feeling well to get out of a social engagement you don’t want to attend. Your child will imitate what he watches you do.
Keep calm and parent on
Watch how you respond to misbehavior and mistakes in your home, whether it’s spilled juice on the carpet or unfinished chores.
If your kids worry about being yelled at or punished when they mess up, they won’t want to come to you with the truth.
Focus on using a calm voice - yes, it can be tough, but it’s possible. That doesn’t mean kids are off the hook for lying. But instead of getting angry and assigning blame, discuss solutions to the problem with your child.
Show the love
Let your kids know you love them unconditionally, even when they make mistakes.
Make sure they know that while you don’t like their poor behavior, you will never love them any less because of the mistakes they might make. This helps your kids feel safe opening up to you.
How to handle them
Make a time to talk calmly with your child and tell her how her lying makes you feel, how it affects your relationship with her, and what it might be like if family and friends stop trusting her.
Always tell your child when you know that he isn’t telling the truth. But try to avoid asking him all the time if he’s telling the truth, and also avoid calling him a ‘liar.’ This might lead to even more lying. That is, if your child believes he’s a liar, he might as well as keep lying. You could say something like “You’re usually very honest with me. But I just can’t understand what else would have happened to the last cupcake.”
Make it easier for your child not to lie. You can start by thinking about why your child might be telling lies. For example, if your child is lying to get your attention, consider more positive ways you could give her attention and boost her self-esteem. If she’s lying to get things she wants, consider a rewards system that lets her earn the things instead.

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