Lying is not uncommon amongst small children. In fact, I think we can agree that it is more frequent in adults! Children lie for a variety of reasons; to gain attention, to make their stories sound more interesting, to get a particular reaction from adults or even to cover up a mistake. Generally, children after the age of 5 begin to lie more because of their increased vocabulary as well as certain instances in school. They may learn to lie from their peers or even at home. Lying in children is inevitable but it is crucial to deal with it at the very beginning to promote a healthy conscience.
So, the next time you catch your little ones telling little lies, here are 5 effective ways to deal with the situation-
- Tell them about the importance of truth– Explain the significance of truth and honesty to them in an easy manner. Many times, children do not grasp the concept of telling the truth and hence, do not realise the importance of it. As a parent, it is crucial to sit down with the child and introduce them to what it means to be truthful. Use stories and examples to help them relate to the concept better. For example- One could tell the story of Gandhi ji, a man who was famous for telling the truth and how that had a great impact on his life.
- Make it clear that blaming is wrong- In many instances, children blame others for a mistake that they have made. This is usually to avoid getting caught by a teacher or parent and to cover up their mistake. Explain to the child with the help of a story that blaming is wrong and that they should not be afraid to own up to their mistakes. For example, if the child loses a new pencil and lies to you saying it was his friend who lost it. You can deal with this effectively by telling the child that if it was in fact his friend who lost the pencil, then it is completely alright but his friend will have to apologise to you and be more careful in the future. This way, the child sees that the parent is not angry that the pencil is lost and may feel guilty for dragging his friend’s name in the lie. Once the child owns up to his mistake, remember to remain calm and appreciate the child for telling the truth.
- Try and understand the cause of the lie– A normal reaction to lying for most of us is anger. Parents generally scold the child immediately when they catch them telling a lie rather than actually finding out the reason. If this practice is continued, it not only instils fear in children but also doesn’t make you very approachable as a parent. For example, if the child is lying about having no homework that day although he/she does have homework, find out the cause of the lie. Is it because the child finds homework tough? Or because they need help doing it but you are unavailable or is it simply because they want more play time? Once the cause is identified, it becomes much easier to have a conversation with the child and solve the issue.
- Create a safe home environment– White lies are lies that are not harmful and usually told to protect someone’s feelings. Children may tell white lies to either protect their parent’s feelings or sometimes even to make their story more interesting. Although they aren’t harmful, if white lies are not stopped, it may become a habit and encourage the child to lie in other situations. One way to deal with this is to examine your own surroundings. Is the child learning how to tell white lies from his/her parents or other adults around him? Is the child lying to gain attention from parents? If this is the case then it is best to be a bit more conscious at home and discourage and call out white lies. This creates a healthy environment around the child where he/she does not feel the need to lie and recognises that is a negative trait.
- Take time to build trust with your child– In most cases, children lie because they want to avoid confrontation and fear how their parents may react to their mistake. As a parent, if you react in a calm manner without shouting or violence, the child may feel more comfortable to talk to you about his/her mistakes. Reinforce the fact that your parent-child relationship is stronger than petty lies. Building this trust may take a while but in the long run, it will make you a more approachable parent.
Lying and blaming are very normal phases that children go through. Disciplining your child can seem like the toughest task, but preschools in Bangalore like New Horizon Vidya Mandir (NHVM) adds to your effort and helps in the holistic development of your child. Preschools in Bangalore ensure every child is attended to and taken care of perfectly. Nursery schools in Bangalore and preschools in Bangalore like NHVM – the best preschool in Bangalore, encourage sensitive, kind, inspiring explorers that can take over the world!