What a shock it is for most parents when they find their child is lying to them! When you finally come back to earth in a molten heap whimpering, “My child lied to me!” you then realize that you have some work to do. After raising my kids I learned a very important truth. ‘You never have to teach a child to do wrong, but you surely have to teach them to be good’.
Another truth I learned was that we are all wired differently and are definitely born with different personalities. Our eldest child was very compliant and a really good kid. Then God smiled and He said, “Okay. I’ve given you a break this time, but I have some lessons I want to teach you.” Our daughter was born with a very strong will, but that’s another blog theme.
Some children are born with a competitive nature, while others have a tendency towards being sneaky. Some are perfectionists and hate making a mistake. All children are capable of telling lies, but the ones I’ve just described find it the hardest to admit they did something wrong.
Why do kids tell lies? The obvious answer is that they don’t want to get into trouble. They cannot foresee that they will be in even more trouble if they are caught lying. They don’t want to admit that they made a poor choice and they don’t want to disappoint you. Unfortunately, sometimes they see their parents tell lies or are even taught to lie. Mom opens the car door and dents it on a rock in the driveway. She tells her son, “If dad asks, tell him that someone opened their car door suddenly and hit ours.” This is teaching the child to lie. When dad mentions to his daughter that he took a few hours off work to do some personal shopping and told the boss that he was in another part of the building (because she is ‘daddy’s girl’ and he shares a lot with her), he is teaching her to be deviant and tell lies.
What can you do when your child lies?
Ensure you are being a good role-model.
Tell them why lying is wrong and tell them you are disappointed with their choice.
Ask if there is anything happening that is causing them to want attention.
Outline the consequence that will be applied if they are found to be lying again.