5 Steps to Talking to Children About Lying
Unfortunately, lying is typically a part of every child’s life. There is no exact point where our children pick up lying. It can be as young as three years old! But at some point in their life, they all give lying their best shot.
Obviously, no parent wants to have a child that lies but expect it and then consider these helpful steps to stopping it. When it comes to talking to our children about lying, the conversation needs to be formulated for success.
1. You can start by telling your child that you know he or she has been lying and. You can then provide them with specific examples. Very often, just being busted by the parents is enough to stop this bad behavior of the child. Even if your action does not make an immediate change, your child needs to understand that you do pay attention to things they said and that you will pay even closer attention in the future.
2. Then, slowly explain to your child why lying is so bad. Remember that children lie for many reasons. They can be for good and for bad. For instance, some children will actually lie as a means of pleasing a parent and not wanting the parent to feel disappointed if they forgot to do something. These are considered a ‘good lie’, even though they should not really do it. Therefore, you will need to tell your child why lying is a bad behavior, even when done for good reasons.
3. Always maintain eye contact with your child when you are talking to them. This type of one-on-one communication lets the child know that you are serious. Typically, direct eye contact will make the child feel nervous and uncomfortable. With this, he or she may decide that lying is not worth it if he or she has to go through another conversation like the last one.
4. Talking to your children about lying allows you to show him or her the type of damage done when untruths are told. For the most part, your children never give a second thought to what the lies are doing and will do. This gives you the perfect opportunity to explain how lying hurts and even causes serious damage in numerous ways. Understanding the consequences of the lies might be what your child needs to know.
5. Finally, when talking to children about lying, consider a great method used by Dr. Laura. She had a problem at one time of her son lying. She turned the tables on him, deciding that she too would lie to let him see how it felt. One day, she told her son to go to his room and pack his bags because they were going to Disneyworld the next day. Well, he was thrilled and hurried off to pack. When he started asking specific questions, she said, “Oh, I’m sorry, I was lying.” She continued this for one week and you can be sure he never lied to her again.
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