How To Deal With Children’s Lies

When parents face an evident lie from a child, they feel confused. On the one hand, the first reaction is to punish, but on the other hand, the question “why did the child do that” appears. It is essential to do the right thing. Children’s lies seem to adults naive, harmless, ingenious pranks. But if the child is constantly lying to hide something from the parents, it’s a serious reason to think about – but whether you have managed to establish a trusting relationship with your child? To understand why children cheat, consider the most common causes, seemingly harmless but blooming deep psychological roots of lying.

How can you recognize a child’s lies?

To figure out if a child is lying or still telling the truth, you can use the “cross-examination” method. One parent asks about some nuances, the other – about others. If the child begins to mix up the data, it’s clear: you have a little liar in front of you.

Also, pay attention to the body language, that is, what the child does during his story:

  • puts his hands to his lips, as if covering his mouth with them;
  • does not look into the eyes;
  • coughs a lot during the story;
  • often interrogates;
  • touches his nose;
  • rubs the eye, chin, or temples;
  • unknowingly touches earlobe;
  • holds his fingers crossed behind his back.

These are all signs that you are being tricked.

The reasons for children’s lies

Lying and fantasy – stories about an imaginary world – should not be confused. In the case of deception, the child is well aware that it touches on reality. A child can lie for several reasons:

  • Social status – attracting the attention of other children, improving social skills, wanting to rise above.
  • It’s just like parents – Mom or Dad can ask the child to lie, for example, to tell Grandma on the phone how much her grandson missed her. As a result, the child accepts what is happening as the norm.
  • Agree with all – in large families, relatives often have conflicts. As a result, the child has to agree with his parents, grandmother, and grandfather. The kid gets used to lying.
  • Fear – an authoritarian adult grows intimidated child. The child is afraid of punishment and therefore comes up with stories, trying to justify himself/herself.
  • Pathological lying – the child always lies for any reason and refuses to recognize his position. It can be a sign of mental disorders. It is necessary to help a specialist. It is not always easy to identify the reasons for the deception. In this case, you can contact a child psychologist. He will explain the peculiarities of the preschooler’s behavior and tell you what to do.

Three Ground Rules

Do not swear or hit a child – it will only force him to lie more and more often. The first action is to assess the situation. It is significant to think about why the child did that. Maybe because of the scare of punishment from his strict mother? For example, in this case, the child will not ask – “Help me write my paper. I do not understand.” She/he will rather cheat.

Second – think about whether it is possible to prevent the repetition of history. If the child lacks warmth and affection, you should give it to him. Or he’s afraid of his social status – then you need to help lift him.

Third – do not blame. Even if the kid tells the truth under pressure, he will only learn one thing: you have to lie so that you won’t get caught.

Examples of Situations

If a child has broken a toy, instead of swearing and cursing, it is better to say: Is it broken? Of course, you didn’t want to do that. You picked it up carelessly, and it fell, didn’t you?

After that, the child won’t start making up that it broke on its own. It will be easy for him, and the conflict won’t escalate. You can turn everything into a joke. For example, the child broke a cup. Then it is necessary to say that it grew legs and it broke itself.

Parents need to remember the main point of parenting: adults are a model of behavior. If a child hears his mom and dad cheating, what conclusion will he draw? It is normal to lie. So change starts with yourself.

It is necessary and possible to react to lies. It is enough to state a fact (the chain is broken or the thing is dirty) and to describe your feelings. The main thing is not to go into too strong a negative. After all, a broken set is not that serious a loss. The trust of the child is much more valuable.


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