Happy Summer! Heather here, from FamilyVolley.com. Today I am excited to share parenting advice to make things easier in your home.
Call it what you will, Fibbing, a Whopper, Tall Tale, Story Telling, it is all the same. Lying. And it can be really frustrating when our kids start to tell them.
First, to know what to do when kids lie, it is good to understand lying by age and stage.
Young children tell fibs based on fantasy, and they are usually made up stories of who they wish they were (princesses), or what they wish they could do (today I ate 10 popsicles and didn’t get sick). Elementary School Children start to tell “smarter” lies to get out of punishment, to sound “cool”, and to get what they want. If at a young age your elementary age kids start to find that their lies do get them what they want, the lies will become habit. We need to be sure to stop them before they reach this point. Your teenagers will tell manipulative lies to protect their friends and themselves, and to avoid punishments and arguments and to get what they want.
- Pay attention to why your kids are not telling the truth. Often times it is because they don’t want to get in trouble. Evaluate the way you are dealing with your kids. Are you being too hard on them, are your expectations too high? Maybe we are taking our stress out on our kids? Could it be that our kids are frustrated, need attention, have low self-esteem, want to gain our approval, are tying to get something, trying to avoid something like chores, trying to protect themselves or a friend/sibling, or tying to please you. Often times if we can pinpoint the “why” behind the lying, we can stop it before it goes too far.
- Be an honest parent. Kids will primarily do what they see us as their parents doing. Do we ever fib. Sneak into a movie, lie about ages to get lower prices, pretend no one is home so you don’t have to answer the door. Kids will pick up on these lies. We have to be honest so they will be honest.
- Teach your children that in your house honesty is the only policy. Teach them that you will be honest with them, you expect honesty from them. Emphasize that this is a family rule and that they, just like you, are expected to follow it.
- Don’t be too harsh. If you are, children will be afraid and not feel safe talking to us about what they have done wrong.
When your child does tell a lie…
These are great tips, Heather! I love the part about thinking why your kids are lying and evaluating your own behavior, as a parent. Obviously, it’s not always the case. But, it’s a real possibility that your ‘scary’ to them, instead of someone they feel safe admitting mistakes to. I also love that you mentioned telling personal stories. I think it is so beneficial for kids to understand their parents are real people. I think it builds respect and trust… so important for a parent/child relationship. You’re so great. I always love your posts!
So great! I used to work where this picture was taken. Greatest place 🙂
Thanks for the post. We were just dealing with a lying situation with my oldest daughter yesterday and I’m glad I came across your blog. It good to know the are other parents out there dealing with similar situations. I personally agree with the first comment of Mariel sometimes I feel like we can be “scary” specially if we react angry or frustrated. We just did that and I was just thinking if there was any way to deal with this situations in a different way since I could tell yesterday that my husband was very frustrated with her for thinking she was sticking to her lie. And my daughter being afraid she would get into big trouble.
Her being the oldest is hard because we have to deal with new things every time. And most of the time we have no clue how to deal with. I appreciate you taking the time to enlighten those of us who need it. Thank you so much. I am willing to give this a try and hope this will help her and us to be better. And for our other kids to see a better example.