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…