SEVEN PARENTING RULES – 9
CHILDREN AND LYING
- Parents understand intuitively, other adults including, that truth-telling is the key to building and nurturing a trusting relationship. We also learn that without it, we quickly lose trust. The habit of lying puts up hurdles to believe one another and difficult to rely upon. The tendency to lie, as a habitual act, gets in the way of closeness, intimacy, and connection.
- Children tend to lie for a number of reasons, but parents’ need to be cautious not to let the children resort to lying as a solution to his problems or an easy way to escape.
- It is an obvious fact that the parents know that nearly all children – from tots to teens resort to lying for all sorts of reasons: to avoid punishment, to make themselves feel better, to get out of a troubled situation, to keep their friend out of trouble, and chiefly, out of fear. Lying comes to them as an inbuilt armory to protect them and their friends from hordes of checking situations they come across every day – from teachers and parents.
- Majority of children tend to lie to their parents but a few are open enough, to be honest with their parents. Here, I believe, children enjoy good vibes with their parents. We need to learn that too much permissiveness; or a harsh and stiff authoritarian attitude may not encourage the children to be more open with their parents. And willing to confess their fears and confidences.
- A half-way solution may be like treating them more with consistency in dealing with lying issues, explaining with a reason the importance of honesty, and ensuring the child feels comfortable in our presence to open up as frequently as they can, without fearing any reprisals from the parents. This is the authoritative way available to parents.
- If parents find the children fibbing, the way out is: do not overreact, do not fantasize a horrible forecast for the child. Stay calm, overreacting may scare the child away and he may probably, would never approach you again to tell you the truth. The very reason a child tends to lie is out of fear of parents and expecting a harsh treatment and humiliation. Children are more likely, to be honest in their acts only when they are certain that the parent doesn’t lose their temper.
- Many children learn their best habits by imitating their parents. The urgency is that the parents have to model honesty. We have to be cautious in our actions and words because our children are watching us and they are good copycats. They copy more of parents’ daily actions and habits than what they repeatedly asked to do.
- Parents have to; at home create an honest mantra. Children learn many habits mostly by observation and repetition. Good habits have to be taught to the children until they are internalized and they learn to appreciate the honesty and truthfulness in his deeds and as well as in his parents. And parents have to recognize and reinforce their honest efforts in the chores they participate.