Why Kids lie and how to help them Lie less
We all lie period. For different reasons at different levels at different times and to different people. I've talked about this before. Our current President is a huge example of lies. So why should we expect that our kids would not engage in this deception as well?
Now that my daughter is older she has moments where she will say to me "oh I can tell you the real truth now because that was a long time ago or oh I can tell you the truth now because I can't get in trouble for it it was a long time ago." And at first I make a serious face and then I laugh. Only because it makes me aware that no matter how much we think as parents we know everything about our kids...we don't.
There are things they guard with their lives and do the best they can to cover up. And it isn't just our teens or young adults it can start with our cute little ones too. The one with those sweet eyes and cute smile. The one who loves to run to us and shower us with hugs when we pick them up from school. The one who helps set the dinner table after finishing their homework, they lie too!
It won't be a lie that causes a war or shatters a family's foundation but a lie none the less. Now you may wonder what would bring about the need for any omission. As Lil Mama's mom I have been around a few kids that have taught me a few lessons.
They Lie because:
- they don't want you to be mad at them
- they think you will not like them
- they fear punishment
- they use it as a way to get what they want
- they hear you do it
Now that we know some of their reasoning how can we reduce this habit? How can we understand why they do it but teach them better ways to deal with those thoughts and emotions? How can we implement a trade off?
My perspective is always start with communication. Age appropriate words and examples so for instance... If they equate love, hugs and smiles with only good things show the same when they disappoint you. Just because they dropped a juice or failed a test or forgot to complete a task don't hold back a hug or a kiss.
Have a conversation and say something like "Even though mommy/daddy didn't like that you xyz it doesn't mean we don't love you, we do and always will. We just want you to try a little harder next time." Talking at their level is a great way to keep them engaged in building a strong connection with you. It helps build accountability in the family unit.
My actions affect others so I must always be mindful of the things I do. If they grow up with this thought as a daily motto there is a better chance that even on a day they do omit something it will never turn into a big something. If they have caught us in a lie or witnessed us lying don't be afraid to talk about it. Communication skills that start at an early age pay off in huge was later on in life.
Have you caught your kid in a lie? How did you handle it? Did you hide things from your parents and get away with it? I'd love to hear your stories.
Always stress free xo,