The truth behind your kids' lies
Caught your kid lying? Don't sweat- here are some tips that you could follow to prevent your kid from going down this path
When was the last time you lied? Were you afraid of the consequences? Were you worried that you would get into trouble?
Or maybe you thought the truth may embarrass you. We all have our reasons, and so do our kids.
Next time before you yell at your kid, remember you have been on that path too. We need to find ways to help them get to the truth and not run away from it. By doing this we are creating a lifelong relationship of trust and making them feel that we can be trusted.
Each time we catch our kid lying, we go through a mixed bag of emotions- anger, dismay, sometimes even puzzlement, and ultimately sadness. As adults we know that telling the truth is vital for the success of any relationship- be it between spouses, at work, or with friends. The challenge is to understand your kid and to hand-hold them through this path.
Here are some tips that you could follow to prevent your kid from going down this path:
#1 Walk the talk
Think twice before you make any promise to your kid. Remember he is watching and following your act. If you say, “I will pick you from the bus stop”, make sure you are at that bus stop. If you are not sure, let him know that before-hand and say, “I will try my best to be there.”
#2 Kids need to know that freedom comes with responsibility
As our kids grow, we can see that they crave for freedom. But it’s important to let them know that both freedom and responsibility go hand-in-hand. If we catch them lying, we need to discuss it with them and let them know that the truth wouldn’t have done too much harm.
Let the growing children know that when they, for example, misuse their growing freedom of speech (eg. by misguiding or hurting others), there is a natural consequence: they become less trustworthy, and in a future moment/situation this could really impact them.
#3 Be open
This doesn’t mean that you accept everything your kid tells you. But yes you have to have an ‘open mind’. You got to think like them, talk their language. If your kid wants to talk about soccer, or play a silly game, give him that chance. He may just start trusting you more.
Your daughter may want to have an ‘awkward’ conversation with you and you may just ‘freeze’. Tell her you need a moment and that you would love to hear what she wants to say. Remember you committed to being there ‘always’ for your kid. Pull yourself together and have that talk with her. You may just see a sigh of relief on her face.
#4 Take time out and make space to listen
Any relationship needs space, and you need to have time to keep it alive. Sometimes it's easier to speak when you go for an evening stroll or just do a lunch together. See what your kids enjoy most and make time for such occasions.
#5 Blame it on the behaviour and not the kid
When we catch our kids lying it’s important we tackle the problem and not blame it on them. It’s crucial that we deal with the circumstances. Let them always know that they are good kids, and have the capacity to speak the truth. Let them regret for their behaviour and not feel shameful.
#6 Change in environment
Sometimes it may be the company that they keep which compels them to lie. Help them change environment. Distract them towards other activities, so they make new friends and don’t have time for the old habits.
#7 Punishing may not be the solution
Experts say that children are less likely to tell the truth when threatened with punishment, and more likely to tell the truth when they thought it would please an adult. Sometimes having a long talk works way better than that 5-minute ‘time out’ that you may have given your kid.
Does any of this sound familiar? Let us know what you think.