Being a mommy to 4 children ranging in ages 14 to 2, I’ve been around the block. Experienced many different problems, as well as many different loving moments. One of the most valuable things I have learned, is that all children are different and need to be show love and punished in different ways. What worked well at age 8 on my oldest, doesn’t work on my 8 year old now. Needless to say, I’ve had to get pretty creative. There’s never a dull moment in my home, but something we have been fighting is the lying. Getting kids to stop lying can be work, take lots of time, and lots of love to overcome.
It’s normal for a child to occasionally tell a lie, I think it’s something that almost every parent has to deal with. However, there’s times when it becomes problematic and you’re child begins lying more often than not. Most children will lie for different reasons such as, keeping themselves out of trouble. There are some children that lie for no reason, these are the children that need attention. Here’s a few tips that I have used along the way to help get your kid to stop lying, and start telling the truth.
Lead, there is not such thing as “do as I say not as I do” in parenting. If you expect your child to tell the trust, or to stop lying, the first thing you have to do is ALWAYS be honest. Children are perceptive and they know when you’re not telling the truth, much smarter than we realize. If they ever ask you to do something, don’t just say okay to get them off your case. Sit them down, talk to them, and explain. If you’re not sure, tell them why you’re not sure. It’s important that us as parents teach our children to be honest, by doing it ourselves.
Make sure they understand the difference between a lie and the truth. There is a huge difference between lying and storytelling, but it can be hard for children to understand the difference if nobody takes the time to explain. It’s important to start by explaining the difference to your children.
Tell you child how lies make you feel. It’s been my experience that your children do not want to hurt their parents. Letting them know that them lying to you hurts can do a lot. If you catch them lying, let them know they have hurt your feelings and that you are disappointed in them. Most children, especially the younger ones aim to please. They want parents to be proud of them, not disappointed in them. So tell them, and show them they have made you sad, hurt your feelings and disappointed you.
Never ignore lies. Ignoring a lie doesn’t work, ignoring the lies lets your children know that everything will just go away. It’s important to let your child know that you know they are fibbing, and that there is consequences they must face.
Talk about things. Sit your child down and talk about why they are lying to you. Once you get your child to admit they are lying, immediately sit them down and ask them to explain why they lied. Doing this can help them understand that you care, you want them to do better, and also show them that they don’t have to lie about something for that reason. Let your children know you love them, and only want the best for them.
Tell them good job, reward the behavior you want to see more of. This can be a hard one. I’m not saying take your child out for ice cream if they did something that they know better, but go easy on them if they came out and told you the truth. There is those little things we can overlook and focus on rewarding them for telling the truth. Children often lie because they are afraid of the consequences, teach them that the consequences are much less if they tell the truth.
Don’t accuse your child of lying right from the start. There’s those times when you’re 99% sure your child is lying, don’t jump the gun. Take a moment and listen to them, you never know maybe they will tell you the truth. I have learned that listening to my child, and offering them the chance to tell the trust normally works. There is times that before they get started, I tell them something about them telling the truth. Just something small that encourages them to tell the truth.
There should always be consequences for lying, and you should stick to them. Disciplining your child can be hard, sticking to it the entire time can be harder. Without consequences for lying, there is no reason for them to stop. If you cannot stick with them, they will not take you serious.
Remember, every child is different. Remember, what worked for your oldest might not work with your youngest, and what works with your friend’s son might not work with you. I think the most important thing we can do is treat our children as individuals, you know your children and what techniques will work with them. Don’t get frustrated and label your child a liar, try different things, be open-minded and love them.
Keep the lines of communication open. It’s important to keep a good relationship with your children, and talk to them. Having a good relationship with your children will make everything easier the older they get.
Being a parent is the hardest, yet most rewarding job anyone will ever have. There is so many different things we deal with, and just because you raised one doesn’t mean the next one is going to be easy. The most valuable thing I have learned is to treat them all like they are their own little person. When it comes to the consequences you might need to get creative, while timeouts work with one, staying in their bedroom might work better with your other one.