Ask yourself: why kids lie? And are we all natural born liers? Lying almost comes naturally to us all, and the irony of it is that we are not born as liers. Instead, this is a skill we learn buy surviving in society. One of the first things your toddlers learn is speech and communication. Once they’ve mastered that, they’ll move on to constructing more complex sentences. It doesn’t take them too long to move on from simple statements to telling a lie or two. To truly understand the reasons why kids lie you only need to have a long, hard look at yourself.
Here’s Why Your Kids Lie
When bringing up your children, one of the most challenging things is dealing with the frustration and trouble that can come from telling a lie. You’ll no doubt be working hard to teach your children what’s right, and what’s wrong, what they should and what they shouldn’t do. As a result, your kids will develop a moral code of their own. So, pondering why kids lie, requires you to understand their motivation for telling it in the first place.
When you think about it, lying frequently happens when people want to avoid punishment or embarrassing situations. It’s the same way with children too. In their minds, tongue-lashing, humiliation or punishment from mom and dad are best avoided. Also, remember that your kids look up to you. It is not their intention to see you cross, so they’d tell a clumsy whopper (lie) rather than see parents disappointed.
Another factor is social recognition and status, which of course starts at an early age. This usually revolves around inventing outlandish stories and tall tales to impress others.
Counter-Attacking A Toddler’s Fib With Good Parenting
It’s very important to react when catching your toddler starts inventing things that aren’t true or if they make up things in order to get out of trouble. Bear in mind that the more you let them lie, the better they’ll get at it, and it’ll be tougher to make them stop. One of the more subtle parenting tactics here is appeal to their good nature. Now, that’s a big piece in the puzzle when you’re attempting to know why kids lie. If you sense a lie coming, just say: “I am more happy when you tell mom/dad the truth.” Using this move is especially useful as your child starts hitting puberty or when adolescence approaches (that’s when kids get less eager to share any information with their parents, so lying can make things worse if something bad has already happened). At the same time, a parent should let their kid develop a sense of independence and self-worth. Try not to show the need to know everything. Eventually, this should give them the confidence in their own decision-making. This will, in turn, decrease the chances of them telling lies in relation to serious matters.
Teach Kids to Avoid Lying
Give them a chance to fix it – If a problem is coming, kids should be given a chance to make up for it. “You didn’t tidy your room yet? So, when do you intend to clean your room?” This kind of eases them into a solution, rather than making them feel they’ve already done something
Truth should be appreciated – Focus on how they tell the truth, is just as important as knowing why kids lie. When they do tell the truth, kids should be complimented for doing so.
Forgive, but don’t forget – Once again, feeling, understanding and acceptance will lead you to establishing a strong bond with the little ones. Let them know that no matter how bad the situation is, you’ll be there to help and support them.
Behavior awareness – Responding to your kids’ misbehavior is crucial. If your kid knows he or she will be punished or yelled at if they screw up, they will be frightened to tell you the truth. No matter how tough it is sometimes, try to explain in a calm voice how to fix a potential problem, rather than blaming them or punishing them straight away.
Tap into their guilt – A child most likely feels guilty for even telling a lie, so you can try and persuade them that you simply do not believe what they are saying, and that you understand why they are afraid to say the truth. Understanding goes a long way, and they could easily open up if they realize you know how they feel.