The dictionary defines the word lying as to give a false statement to someone or even a group of people who knows that the stated subject is not the truth. But when it comes to tackling real life problems, especially spotting them with kids, you know it goes to a whole new level. Lying is a very common self- defense mechanism adopted by almost every child, long before he is even aware of it. Commonly sued methods by teenagers are contextual lies and bluffing. Children, as I have mentioned earlier are unaware of the future consequences of lying. Whereas, parents on the other end, pressurize themselves by over thinking and scolding so as to prevent future occurrence. Needless to say that lying may be the most common pre-schooler offense. For example, a butter smeared toddler shakes his head when asked whether he ate peanut butter.
Psychologist provide some valuable insight into lying in children. They say that lying is basically an un- explored ability in children. So basically, when an underage lies, he is basically working on testing this new dimension. Teenagers on the other hand, realize it at a very later part in life, the consequences of lying and making false excuses. They say that holding the child responsible for lying is not as bad as blaming him for lying. An example of it can be taken from our everyday lives. We know that driving over 120 kilometers is an offense. When you're driving a little slow, people may honk past you, shouting at you, but when you're doing, let's say 170 kph, and an officer stops you, the most common reply one could imagine is: 'oh really, I thought I was doing 130 kilometers' etc. Simply put, we do realize that over-speeding will cost us a speeding ticket from the police officer. What we don’t realize is that it speed limits standards are set by law to prevent us from putting our lives in harm's way. Same is the case with what goes inside a child's head when he is lying. He is aware that the parents forbade him to lie but is not aware that lying would jeopardize his relationships, career, and before he realizes it now, it would be too late by then. It is a common misconception that most forget before they react, a food for thought for parents. This all sums up saying that parents should focus their energies on slowly making children aware of the fact that lying is, in fact, a serious offense of which future consequences are dire if not remedied in the first place.
Lying has somewhat a similar consequence as with a police officer issuing a speeding ticket. Teachings about telling the truth no matter what work only under certain circumstances. When you pressurize your children about telling the truth always, you are making them more susceptible to frequent lies. A good way to get past all these barriers and to maintain that hierarchy in the house is to make use of consequences and keep reminding the children about the negative repercussions of lying and how the lives are affected by it.
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Are there any strategies you have used or found useful to overcome lying habit in kids? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.