Kids lying problem is a bit tricky because it appears on different levels in children behavior. But there are different things you can do to help your child get rid of this behavior:
- Don’t give your child a chance to lie. In other words, don’t ask what you already know. If your child obviously took a cookie even though he wasn’t allowed to, don’t ask: “Did you take a cookie?”. You’ll push your kid to lie. Just say: “You have chocolate smears on your mouth. I told you not to take a cookie and you did it anyway without asking me!”
- When your child lies to you and you know he does, don’t get angry, you’ll make your child lie more. The fear of your angry reaction is exactly the reason why your child is lying to you. Listening and keeping your voice down is very important to understand the causes and be able to help your child stop lying. It’s also a better way to get the truth.
- Kids lying to draw attention by making up stories have to be handled differently. Indeed, very imaginative children shouldn’t be neglected. You need to make the difference between reality and fiction very clear. You can take TV and books as examples of what is real and what is pretended. Also, it’s a good idea to set aside times for imaginary play with dress-up costumes and accessories to differentiate fiction from reality without bridling his imagination.
- It’s important that you make truth and honesty a major principle in your family and education. Kids lying by habit often over-predict their parents’ reaction. That is why it’s very important that you provide clear boundaries but insist on the fact that they are negotiable and that it’s always better to tell the truth rather than a lie in the long run.
- Give your child the chance to reconsider his answer after saying an obvious lie and tell him there will be no consequences if he tells the truth right now. Reward honesty. Reverse the process: if you “catch” your child telling the truth, he’ll be rewarded with something he likes doing. He’ll soon see the good consequences of being honest.