Kids lying is a frequent problem. Yet it has to be taken seriously in order to make it stop. As with others kids behavior problems, the most important thing is to understand what causes such behavior. Also, we as parents should never forget that our kids are kids and they therefore don't lie the way we do. Kids lying imitate a lot but don't have the same intentions as we do. If I'm talking about imitation first it's to remind you (and myself!) that your behavior is taken as a role model by your child and that's why it's so important to watch our words and behavior with our children.
But kids lying don't always imitate their parents or brothers and sisters. The cause can be different. Before I tell you about the 5 ways to solve this problem, I want you to be aware of the major difference between a child who lies to hide something he did wrong and a child who lies when he makes up stories to draw attention.
Here are the top 5 ways to solve kids lying problem:
1. Stop asking what you already know. Saying "Did you do this?" when you know he did is just giving him a chance to lie. Just say what you know very clearly. You know the truth, tell the truth and punish what has to be punished. Playing with that truth can only bring confusion.
2. Don't be angry, don't yell at your kid when you catch him lying or discover he lied. Your anger is the very reason why your kid is lying, what he wants to avoid by all means. Reacting with anger can only push him to keep lying. So keep your voice low and ask why he lied. He needs your help getting rid of this behavior.
3. If your child is making up stories and have a lot of imagination, don't try to make him stop. His imagination is a very good thing. Still, you need to teach him the difference between what is real and what is pretended. You can set aside times for imaginary play to make him stop telling lies when he's not playing.
4. Always insist on what honesty and truth can bring (trust, independence...) and what lies bring too (no punishment until the truth is found and eventually more privileges taken away as the truth is always found).
5. When your child tells a lie, give him a chance to reconsider his answer and to take 5 seconds before answering. Give him that chance to stop his habit with no consequences for him if he says the truth right after. Reward his efforts toward being truthful.
Kids lying is not easy to handle especially when
it had become a habit in your child or teen. Such a behavior sometimes
hides another problem such as low self-esteem. Every problem has to be
taken seriously to prevent it to become much harder to solve. But
there's hope because you can easily learn how to communicate better
with your child thanks to parenting methods or programs that help you be coherent in your parenting style which is the key to a constant good behavior in your child (see the resource on the author info box on the right).