Have you caught your child lying? Do you want to know how to deal with your child lying? Do you want to know why do children lie? You will get to know all about it here. Nowadays, little kids start lying to parents from the age of 2 to 3. Many of you might be thinking, at such a tender age, when hardly they have learned to speak, children have started lying. Toddlers or children, between the age of 2 to 6 learn the ability to lie if proper care and guidance are not given and then it becomes a habit. Later, letting go of these habits becomes very hard. So, it is crucial to handle the children carefully and teach them the importance of speaking the truth.
It is easy to develop a habit when kids are small. It is the best time when you can teach your child values and put into mind that lying is not good. So, here we will tell you all about how to stop a child from lying and also what you should do when your children lie.
Is your child lying? Know Why Do Children Lie
There are times when you catch your child lying and you may end up wondering why they are even lying. There can be many possible reasons why do children lie. Here, we are mentioning some of the main reasons behind the lying of children.
1. Out of Fear
Many times children lie because of fear. The fear of getting caught, being scolded or being beaten shut them from speaking the truth. Out of many children who lie, this has been one of the main reasons behind it. “What if I am caught?”, “What if I will be scolded or beaten?” are some of the questions that make the child lie.
2. To Grab Attention
Another reason why your child may be lying is to grab attention. Children need the love of their parents. If they find themselves being ignored or kept aside. They take the path of lying so that you pay attention to them. They think “If I lie, my parents will pay attention to me, talk to me” and this becomes the cause of lying.
3. To See Your Reaction
Curiosity is an element that encourages children to do something. Many times the curiosity to see how their parents react when they lie, becomes the reason behind children’s lying. Alot of children develop stealing habits see how other people react and then they do it very regularly. Later, this curiosity turns into a dreadful habit. The eagerness to see and know something encourages children to lie.
4. Tell Tall Tales
Another reason why do children lie is to show their imagination. Children are imaginative and they often make up their lies into stories. For example, “A monster has eaten up cookies in the cupboard”. There is nothing wrong with being imaginative but the difference is using lies to build stories. This encourages children to tell more lies.
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Things to do When You Catch Your Child Lying
Developing the habit of lying is not a good one. The scene of lying, later on, turns into a habit and letting go of this habit becomes difficult. But, before stopping your child from lying, you must know how to deal with your child’s lying. This is a determining step as it builds friendship and trust between your relation. So, let’s see what to do when you catch your child lying.
1. Never React Aggressively
The first step to deal with your child’s lying is to never be aggressive when you find that your child is lying. Don’t shout or beat them. Rather be calm and talk to them with a calm mind. This helps in removing the fear in the mind of the child and helps them to open up.
2. Ask the Truth While Playing
Playing is the best way to make your child speak the truth and admit that they were lying. While playing the mind of children are concentrated on it and hence cannot make any judgment and speak out the truth when you ask. This method also helps in building the bond between you and your child.
3. Try to Attach Feelings
Another way of dealing with the child when they are lying is attaching feelings to the term. It means to explain and make them realize that it feels good, brave, proud when you speak the truth and that it feels bad when you lie. Explain this to the child via a story as it always interests children.
4. Don’t Use Negative Phrases
Yet another step while dealing with your child who is lying is never use a negative phrase or negative statement while talking to them. You should be fully calm and relaxed and express that you are happy because they told you the truth and not that you knew they were lying and that they are a liar.
5. Turn Things Around and Ask
Another important method to adopt when you catch your child lying is to turn things around and ask about the truth. For example, if your child has eaten cookies and is lying, don’t tell them directly that they are lying rather tell them that it’s you and me only at home and I was not here then who might have eaten it. This makes them feel you know the truth and they tell it to you by themselves.
How To Stop Your Child From Lying? – Follow These Tips
Is your child constantly lying? Do you want to stop your child from lying? Here we will tell you how to stop a child from lying. Some people think beating them is the right thing whereas some think child counseling is the right thing to go ahead with. There are different ways to deal with your child when they are caught lying but you must make sure they don’t repeat it. The below tips might help you in doing so and let you understand why do children lie.
1. Teach Them Good Values
One of the best ways to stop your child from lying is to inculcate in them good values and basic human values. Make them understand that they should never lie and hurt others. You should be able to explain to them that lying is bad and the truth is what they must always adhere to. You can do this by telling any story or tale or by game.
2. Express Happiness When They Tell the Truth
Another way of stopping your child from lying is to express happiness when they tell you the truth. You should not be aggressive when your child speaks the truth. This will only develop fear in them and they will lie more. However, if you tell them how happy you are because they have told you the truth they will have a feeling that you trust them and will stop lying.
3. Be More Interactive
Many times children lie to their parents because they want their parents’ attention. Being more interactive and attentive to your child will assure them that you care for them and love them as at this age all that children demand is your love and care. If you interact with them more they will also speak up about all that is in their mind and will not hide anything from you. Download our free E-Book and get tips about “How to Understand Yourself and Other People.”
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4. Tell Them How You Feel
Telling your children how you feel is another way by which you can achieve success in stopping your child from lying. You must tell your child that you are hurt when they lie and that you feel very happy if they tell you the truth. At the same time, you must also understand why your child is lying and work upon it.
5. Never Lie to Kids
Children learn what they see. If you are lying this is what your child will also learn. So, you must take care that you never lie and teach your child the same. As the saying goes, we must follow the steps ourselves first and then teach them to others, so the same is applied to the children as well.
6. Take them to a Counsellor If Needed
You should take them to a counselor if you feel the situation is getting out of control and it could serve the worst consequences in the future. As a parent, you should take care of these things and take preventive measures at the right age. Counselors will help your child to overcome such issues and bring change in their behavior as well by providing the right counseling to your child.
What as a Parent You Should Never Do !
There are things that you take care of as a parent. There are certain things you might say in anger but it affects the children deeply. So, here are things you should never tell or do to your child when they lie.
1. Don’t Address Your Child as a Liar
Never, address your child as a liar. This may be a small tell but leaves a deep impact on children. Speak to them politely and tell them lying in childhood is not good but don’t label them as liars.
2. Don’t Scold or Beat Them
Never scold or beat for your children lying. Beating or scolding will only develop fear within them and they won’t be able, to tell the truth. The same as above, keep calm and be relaxed.
3. Don’t Spotlight Them
Another important thing to be kept in mind is to never spotlight your kid when they do lying in childhood. Don’t, again and again, tell them that they are lying, they have lied or they only know how to lie. Rather know the reason behind it.
Hope this blog will help you figure out that Why do children lie? If your child is also lying you should indeed take care and pay attention when your child lies but moreover, you should be happy as well because now your child can know what is correct and what is wrong, though a little bit. If needed you should take help of therapies and even online counseling to help your child and take him out of such a situation. They understand that they might get scolded or they are developing the skill of tall tales. Try to keep your calm and let them know that lying is never fruitful and truth may be harsh but its fruits are very sweet.
About Dr. Neha Mehta
Dr. Neha Mehta is an RCI registered Psychologist, certified Relationship Counselor, and a well-known Child Psychologist practicing in Haryana.
Dr. Neha has 10 years of enriching experience in the field of counseling. She’s an accredited Psychologist by NIMHANS and International Affiliate with American Psychological Association.