How to wean a child from lying

Table of contents:

How to wean a child from lying
How to wean a child from lying

What is a childish lie and how to treat it correctly. What makes a child lie. How to recognize a young liar. The best ways to deal with it. Childhood lies are a shake-up for any parent. It makes you wonder what caused the lie - your own omissions in upbringing, certain benefits, or just a "feature" of the child's character, and look for a way out of the situation, because none of us wants to raise a liar.

Why is the child lying

Child afraid of punishment

Everyone has the skills of lying "from birth." However, not everyone uses them, because they require "activation", that is, a motive, a reason. Children's lies can be based on many reasons - from age-related characteristics of formation to crisis relationships with parents or peers. Therefore, it is so important to determine what exactly motivates your little liar in order to help him get on the path of truth.

The main reasons children start telling lies are:

  • Fear of punishment… The most common of all reasons why a child is constantly lying. It is very difficult for children of all ages to resist temptations and boundaries set by parents or society. Therefore, if the child nevertheless "cheated" (on purpose, by accident or out of simple curiosity), he inevitably understands that the misconduct will be punished. This can provoke him to lie. Also, the desire to avoid anger by lying often becomes a tactical move (defensive reaction) of children, whose parents react sharply to his slightest offense.
  • Striving to stand out… One of the reasons for children's lies, which indicates that the child is dissatisfied with something or someone, is not sure of himself. This can be the level of security, their external or physical data, the degree of attention and care of the parents, the situation in the family. Therefore, children come up with stories about their abilities and heroes, embellish the material or physical capabilities of their parents. Thus, at the origins of childish bragging lies the desire to increase their importance in the eyes of people who are important to him - relatives, teachers, peers.
  • Personal gain… The most unpleasant reason why a child is lying. In this case, he uses lies as a tool to achieve a certain selfish goal. That is, no one and nothing forces him to make a choice between truth and lies. He does it consciously, voluntarily. His behavior scenario is simple: he lied - he got what he wanted. This can be a sign of psychopathy, when he is simply unable to distinguish between "good" and "bad", "ok" and "no", or a consequence of gaps in upbringing.
  • Attention deficit… The reason children lie when trying to get parental attention. Most often, this method of attracting attention is chosen by babies whose parents do not devote enough time to them due to their busyness. Often, children resort to it after the birth of brothers or sisters, when the vector of parental attention switches to the younger one. Also, with the help of lies, sometimes the child tries to solve family problems (quarrels, scandals), hoping that the parents will switch to him and be reconciled.
  • Family traditions… A good reason for a child to adopt a parental model of behavior in which lies are perceived as something common. Duplicity in the communication and behavior of adults, empty promises, the involvement of a child in seemingly innocent schemes of deception ("say that mom is not at home," "say that you forgot a notebook," etc.) gradually form in him the same position.
  • Fear of humiliation… A reason that can be called somewhat valid.She indicates how important it is for a child to be respected by others, especially parents. That is, he cheats in order to "save face", not to drop his authority. For example, in front of dad, who teaches that men do not cry. Therefore, the son, trying to be a real man in the eyes of his father, will not tell him about how he cried when he fell from a tree. At the same time, realizing that he will not be scolded for the very fact of falling and tears.
  • Protection and self-defense… “Lies for the good” may appear in the child's arsenal as well. For example, when in a dangerous situation he wants to protect himself or his comrades, loved ones. At the same time, he realizes that he is not telling the truth, but forcedly, in order to resolve (avoid) a difficult situation.
  • Protest note… One of the ways a child expresses himself is when he tries to resist the world with the help of lies. Most often, children from disadvantaged families and adolescents choose him to prove their authority and ability to solve problems on their own.

The reason your child enjoys making stories may simply be a very developed fantasy or excessive sociability. In this case, an irrepressible imagination and a desire to give him free rein makes him speak a lie. Most often this is a story about himself or some event where he was present, embellished with fabulous or invented details. This should not be regarded as a deception in the direct sense of the word.

How to tell if a child is lying

The girl is lying

To begin with, a lie is a deliberate, knowingly false or distorted truth. In children, it can manifest itself in several interpretations - in the form of cheating, exaggeration, lying out of necessity or for profit. Therefore, it is so important for parents to be able to distinguish children's fantasies and delusions from deliberate lies.

The main signs that a child is lying:

  1. "Mouth shut"… The subconscious desire not to let the lie out of the mouth makes the baby, during the lie, bring his hands to his mouth, to his lips.
  2. "Look to the side"… Children who are not telling the truth often do not look their interlocutor in the eye. They can look to the side, at an object, or simply down. Even when asked to look in the eyes, they try hard to look away. Some liars do this in order not to give themselves away, others - because of a sense of shame.
  3. "Frequent blinking"… If you do manage to catch the eye of a young liar or he looks you straight in the eyes, the eyes themselves may give him away. The untruth makes them blink frequently, and their pupils expand and contract.
  4. "Restless Hands"… In a child who is trying to deceive, you can notice fussy movements that are not inherent in him in an ordinary setting. So, for example, when telling a lie, he can unconsciously touch his nose, temples, earlobe, chin, pull on clothes, fiddle with buttons, scarf, collar, scratch his neck, hands.
  5. Blush of Guilt… The struggle of conscience with reason makes the blood rage in the body of the deceiver. Therefore, his pulse quickens, his heart begins to pound madly, and the blood rushes to his face.
  6. "Speech changes"… The need to believably lie occupies a significant part of the deceiver's thinking process, since it requires argumentation and details, especially if you need to think out on the go. Therefore, in order to gain time at least a little, he will cough, ask or repeat the questions asked to him, make long pauses between sentences, try to translate the topic of conversation. This also makes him speak slower than usual, confused, uncertain. An inexperienced liar can even get confused in his arguments himself.

Of course, among children, as well as among adults, there are professional liars, who are very difficult to see through at first sight. Therefore, parents simply need to see the child's attempts to deceive in time and prevent them from developing further.

What to do if the child is lying

Faced with childish lies, most parents think, if a child is lying, what to do in such a situation, how to do the right thing? All psychologists in this case agree on one thing - do not stay idle. Ignoring the problem will not only not solve it, but, on the contrary, will translate episodic lies into chronic ones, which are much more difficult to deal with. Therefore, it is so important to find in time the cause that makes the child cheat, and correct it correctly. Here are some ways to help you deal with child cheating.

Personal example

Father talking to son

It is difficult for a child to grow up to be honest and trusting in a family where lying, being hypocritical and not fulfilling the promise is in the order of things. Therefore, become a model for the behavior of your son or daughter - be honest and responsible. Not only in front of him, but in front of himself.

Be sure to keep your word or don't promise if you can't keep your promise. Remember that children have no concept of a small or big promise - for them, any promise from their parents matters a lot. Explain that telling the truth is sometimes very difficult, even for an adult, but that it is a prerequisite for building normal human relationships. Trusting, honest, open.

Closer to the age of 7-8, some deviations from this rule in the form of "lying for good" can be explained to the child. That is, untruth that can protect the feelings of another person, health or even life. However, make it clear that you only need to apply such exceptions as a last resort.

The principle of cause and effect

Mom reads a fairy tale to her daughter

Take time to explain why lying is bad and truth is good. Do not delve into the depths of psychology and philosophy, so as not to completely confuse the child. The best way to convey the necessary information to him is to tell the consequences of lying by example. To do this, you can use a fairy tale, story, a fictional story, or an incident from your own experience.

At the same time, try to simulate a situation in parallel with reading or telling a story with the involvement of a child - talk about how the deceiver and the one he is deceiving feel, what lies lead to, whether it was possible to avoid the lie and how to fix the situation. This way of parenting will help you explain to your child the importance of honesty without blame and unnecessary emotions.

Calm and consistency

Mother brings up her son

It is very important to react in time to the child's first attempts to lie to you. And not just to react, as it often happens (by shouting, accusations, punishment), but to do it calmly and deliberately. Our violent negative reaction scares the liar even more, and he goes even further from the desire to tell the truth, especially if it happens in front of others. Therefore, make it a rule to find out the reason for this behavior and explain its consequences calmly and without witnesses.

Finding out all the nuances of what happened, be consistent and honest with the deceiver you come across. The best way to find out the truth is through a relationship of trust. Therefore, promise him that you will not be angry if he tells why he lied. And keep your word, no matter what he tells you. Then discuss the consequences of deception and suggest options for getting out of the situation without using lies. And make sure that next time the child can count on your help and support.

Carrot and stick

Father praises daughter for honesty

Be sure to differentiate the "degree" of your child's lies in order to develop an adequate response to it. So, if your baby just loves to fantasize and embellish events, that is, his lies are harmless, you should not make a tragedy out of this and rudely return him to reality. He will outgrow this, learn to clearly separate the real from the imaginary, and will return there himself. Until that moment, you'd better just play along with him.

If your child cannot be called a liar, but occasional cases of deception do occur, you can limit yourself to a conversation on the topic "what is good and what is bad." But put the question of honesty under control.

It's another matter when a child lies “in the system” - often and with far from harmless consequences. In this case, conversations and explanations alone are no longer enough. Most psychologists agree that our suggestions, without the following punishment, will not have the desired effect. That is, there must be a consequence behind the offense. This does not mean that it is necessary to apply physical sanctions to a lying child. Restriction works better here - in treats, games, shopping, entertainment, etc. In this case, be sure to take into account the rule of the ratio of the scale of "crime" and "punishment". For example, it would be wrong for a blatant lie to just leave the liar for one evening without sweets. Or punish a child with a week's house arrest for a petty prank.

Praise your child for their honesty, especially if they admit their own wrongdoing. Of course, this will not save him from correcting the consequences (apologies, cleaning, etc.), but he will know that he can trust you in any situation and not receive aggression and accusations in return.

No provocations

Mother seeks the truth from her daughter

Another effective way to wean a child from lying is to stop provoking him to deception. Do not harass him with leading questions, the answer to which is obvious to you. For example, if the reason for the disappearance of sweets from the table is completely clear to you (traces of chocolate around your mouth or on your fingers, the absence of other people in the room at the time of the disappearance, etc.), your questions like "Who ate the sweets?" and "Where did they go?" will not be entirely fair.

It will be much better to let your child know that you are "in the know." This will save him from the need to lie and dodge. And suggest an alternative. For example, asking you for these very sweets, you will definitely give, but not all.

Get rid of the desire to pull the truth out of the child at all costs if he desperately resists it. Recognition under pressure is generally very difficult for people, including at a young age. Therefore, it is better to explain to the deceiver that you love him anyway and just want to understand the current situation. Step back and give him time to remember and think about everything again, and then continue the conversation. This will be much more effective than shouts, threats and ultimatums.

The art of honesty

Mom teaches daughter in a playful way

Teach your child to be honest in every situation. The best age for this is preschool. At this age, he is already able to understand the rules of behavior and some of the subtleties of communication, as well as realize the consequences of his actions. Communicate to him that you can be honest "without harming" the feelings of others. For example, with a smile, good-natured tone and humor. Play various life situations with him so that when faced with them in reality, he knows how to behave correctly.

Remember, lying is a mistake. This means that you can always ask for forgiveness for her. Encourage your child to apologize in this case, it is possible and necessary. But in order to receive forgiveness and regain trust in oneself, repentance is worth sincerely. How to wean a child from lying - watch the video:

As you can see, childish lies are a way to convey their discomfort to adults. It requires a lot of attention, since it can significantly complicate the life of both the child and his loved ones. Trust your child, love him and try to understand - and then he will have no reason to deceive.

Popular by topic