Eventually, for one reason or another, kids learn to lie. And as parents, we never want to hear our kids lie about anything, especially to us.
At some point in your life as a parent, you’ll eventually find yourself placed in a difficult position if you catch your child lying to you. On one hand, everyone lies at some point in their life, and it’s normal for people to lie. But on the other hand, you surely don’t want your kids to make a habit of lying, especially to you.
So, what can you do if your kid starts to lie, and how can you get them to tell you the truth?
1. Be mindful of how you react to your child’s misbehavior
In some instances, children lie because they’re afraid of how you react to their misbehavior. If you shout or punish your kid harshly whenever they do something wrong, or make a mistake, then you might have to rethink how you react when they misbehave.
Kids have a tendency of lying if they’re scared of disappointing you, or if they’re afraid of you. Stay calm, and communicate to your child, and make them understand that it’s okay to make mistakes, as they’re a learning experience.
2. Don’t embarrass your child
If you catch your child lying, don’t embarrass them by making them feel worse than they already feel. Give them opportunities to tell you the truth instead of calling them out on their lying. Embarrassing your child will just make them feel much worse, and they’ll probably lie more in the future so that they can save themselves from being embarrassed or feeling bad.
3. Try to understand how they feel
Kids lie not because they like to lie, but because of a number of reasons. Sometimes it’s because they don’t want to disappoint you, sometimes it’s because they’re scared of you. Talk to your kids, and make it clear that they should never be scared to tell the truth to you.
On your end, it’s your responsibility to be more understanding, patient, and kind when it comes to your kid making mistakes. It’s a learning experience not only for your child, but also for you as well, so it’s very important to try and practice empathy.
4. Thank them for being honest
During the instances when your kid ‘comes clean’ when it comes to their mistakes, make sure to acknowledge their honesty, and thank them for it. Praising your child during the times whenever they tell the truth, gives your child a great feeling, and it makes them feel that you understand them and that it’s okay for them to make mistakes, so long as they learn from it.
It also keeps your kids from lying, as there will be no incentive for them if they lie.
5. Turn it into a learning experience
As with everything that happens in life, it’s all a learning experience. Instead of scolding your child for lying, talk them through what they can do instead so that they won’t lie, and make them understand the consequences that lying can have, especially in the future.
Setting a culture of honesty and openness in your family is very important, and you should establish it as early as possible so that your kids can take it with them until they grow up and have a family of their own.
6. Make them feel loved
Of course, all parents love their kids. However, there might be some instances wherein your kids might not always feel that love, especially in cases where they do something wrong. Which is why it’s important for parents to show that they love their kids unconditionally, regardless of their imperfections or any mistakes that they might do.
They should know that no matter what happens, at the end of the day, you’ll still love them.
7. Be careful of your own lies
Parents should also be careful when it comes to lying, especially as most parents think that ‘white lies’ are okay. Lying, even white lies, is not a good example to set for your kids. So if you find yourself making up ‘white lies’ in your daily life, you might want to rethink that behavior since your kids will pick up on it and they might mistake it as acceptable behavior.
Always remember, practice what you preach!
Be sure to check out ParentTown for more insightful stories, questions, and answers from parents and experts alike. If you have any insights, questions or comments regarding the topic, please share them in our Comment box below. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Google+ to stay up-to-date on the latest from theAsianparent.com Philippines!