children morals and values is one of the toughest elements
of parenting. When children lie to their parents, it feels
like a major breech of trust. However, the important thing
is to keep the focus on the child. Parents should try not
to be too worried or anxious about their child's lying. This
behavior is not unusual for children. Sometimes children lie
to get out of trouble, and it often works. Generally, lying
is not the problem, it is a symptom of an underlying problem.
Parent's should move away from the idea of 'catching' their
child in a lie. Rather than focusing on the lying, try to
focus instead on the issues the child is lying about. Try
to analyze the situation and figure out what is really bothering
a child has only recently started lying, parents should consider
if there have been any recent changes in the child's routine,
school life, friends or a new sibling. Often lying is a reaction
to stress or changes that children have a difficult time handling.
Children often respond to stresses by seeking attention through
'acting out.' Children will seek any kind of attention when
they feel needy. If parents think that this may be the problem,
they should try making arrangements to spend special time
alone with the child.
recommended approach to addressing your child's lying, is
to to sit down and talk with the child, with no distractions.
Besides discussing the lying, try to uncover what may be causing
any anxiety. Help the child figure out what is stressful to
him or her, and offer constructive ways of dealing with it.
Try to help the child come up with alternatives to lying.
When talking with your child, address the difference between
make believe and reality--lying and telling the truth. Stress
to your child the importance of honesty at home and in the
a situation in your home that encourages your children to
tell the truth. Instead of punishing them for mistakes, praise
them when they tell you something difficult. The key to changing
a child's behavior is giving attention only for positive behaviors.
Then, reinforce the idea that they can tell you anything and
you will always love them.
your child's behavior continues for several more weeks, you
may want to discuss the situation with their pediatrician.