Children lie to cover something up so they don’t get into trouble. They lie to make a story more exciting. Some children lie to get attention. They also lie to get something they want and to avoid hurting someone’s feelings.
When do children start lying?
Children can learn to tell lies from an early age, usually around three years of age. This is when a child starts to realize that you aren’t a mind reader, so they can say things that aren’t true without you always knowing.
Children lie more at 4-6 years. Your child might get better at telling lies by matching his or her facial expressions and the tone of his or her voice to what he or she’s saying. If you ask the child to explain what he or she’s saying, they usually own up.
As children grow older, they can lie more successfully without getting caught. The lies also get more complicated, because children have more words and are better at understanding how other people think.
By adolescence, children regularly tell white lies to avoid hurting other people’s feelings.
Teach children to tell the truth
Once children are old enough to understand the difference between truth and lie, it is good to encourage and support them in telling the truth.
Mothers can do this by emphasizing the importance of honesty in their families and helping children understand what can happen if they lie.
Have conversations about lying and telling the truth with your children. Help your child avoid situations where he feels the need to lie.
Praise your child when he or she owns up to doing something wrong. Be a role model for telling the truth.
How to handle deliberate lies
If your child tells a deliberate lie, the first step is to let him or her know that lying isn’t okay. Your child also needs to know why not. You might like to make a family rule about lying.
The next step is to use appropriate consequences. And when you use consequences, try to deal separately with the lying and the behaviour that led to it.
Make a time to talk calmly with your child and tell him or her how lying makes you feel, how it affects your relationship with him or her, and what it might be like if family and friends stop trusting them.
Always tell your child when you know that they aren’t telling the truth. But try to avoid asking them all the time if they are telling the truth, and also avoid calling your child a liar. This might lead to even more lying. That is, if your child believes he’s a liar, he or she might as well as keep lying.
Make it easier for your child not to lie. You can start by finding out why your child might be telling lies. If your child is lying to get your attention, consider more positive ways you could give him or her attention and boost their self-esteem. If he or she’s lying to get things they want, consider a reward system that lets them earn those things instead.
Being a dad
How to raise responsible children
Fathers have the responsibilities to raise responsible children who are happy to help out and not reluctant to pitch in.
With some patience and a few parenting tricks, fathers will be on their way to raising responsible children who will in turn become responsible adults.
Assign age-appropriate tasks
Everyone in your house can be given specific tasks to teach them responsibility. Even your toddlers can help out and starting them young makes it easier to hand them even more responsibility as they grow older. Assign age-appropriate tasks around the house.
Praise them for taking responsibility
A job well done deserves praise. Fathers often forget to praise their children for completing their tasks. But as your children are learning what responsibility is, you need to be sure you are there to praise them for a job well done when they pick their clothes up off the floor and dust their furniture.
Avoid constant rewards
Instead of promising your child chocolate if he or she takes out the trash, let him or her feel the reward of taking responsibility without having to be bribed. You can surprise your kids with rewards or reward them one day a week but don’t carry around a pocket full of chocolates so you can dole a piece out every time one of your kids does something they have been told to do.
Let your children feel the consequences of not taking responsibility
Before you get started on laying out your child’s responsibilities, let them her know what those consequences will be. You can do this as one continuing consequence, like not completing those five responsibilities each week results in a loss of TV or you can set those consequences week by week based on the activities you have going on at the time.
Take a step back
You know what will happen if you shirked your responsibilities as a father and you don’t want your children to neglect their responsibilities either. It can be incredibly frustrating when your child seems to not hear you or ignores you.
But it’s important to take a step back. Don’t lose your cool and bark about how important their responsibilities are. You want them to enjoy being responsible, not resentful of it.
It will take time for your children to master their responsibilities. They are still kids and it will take time for them to remember their responsibilities and fully understand their importance.
Your guidance is crucial when you want to raise a responsible child who becomes a responsible adult. But it needs to be done in a nurturing way that encourages them to participate and actually gets them excited about contributing.
Otherwise, your children start to see responsibilities as something they are getting in trouble for instead of something that is actually rewarding. Fathers need to understand that raising responsible children is a long-term goal that won’t be completed overnight.