What To Do When Children Lie?

children-lying

By Ron Huxley, LMFT

It can really upsets a parent when their children lie. What want our children to be honest and always tell the truth. When they don’t it can feel embarrassing and feel like we have failed as a parent

The “truth” is that there may be many reasons for a child to lie. Some of the common causes may be due to an active imagination, desire to please you, fit in socially,  avoid unpleasant or boring tasks, or seeking (negative) attention. Parents can cope with a child who lies by following these simple parenting tools:

1. Provide opportunities for your child to express his imagination without lying.

2. Point out the differences between fact and fantasy.

3. Practice telling the truth yourself so that your child does not imitate you lying.

4. Don’t overreact to lying. Point out the need to tell the truth and allow your child to do so without feelings ashamed.

5. Don’t push for confessions. These usually lead to bigger lies and more punishment.

6. Look for ways your child can get what they want without lying and reward him for not lying.

Lastly, parents have to set a good example. If parents are caught, by their children, in telling lies, then they will believe it is OK. Parents: “Practice what you preach!”

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