How to deal with your Child's tendency to Lie?

Posted on October 16, 2018

Teenage lying is quite prevalent around the world today. It usually happens when a child is growing into their early teenage years, at around 9 to 13 years old. Parents should then know that they can’t force their child to do anything without his or her consent anymore as they are already starting to develop a mind of their own, hence gradually become more resistant towards disagreements and denies to their requests.

There are different forms of lying. One of which is lying by intentionally leaving out certain details when conveying a message, also translates to the child deciding what he or she wants to reveal. There is also lying by commission, where one lies about the truth. In early teenage years, most adolescents often engage in both forms of lying.

People usually lie to get what they want, to escape from what they do not want or like, or to get away from a wrongdoing without having to face the consequences. These are related to attempts of obtaining freedom or being more liberated. Hence it is normal for parents to discover that their children, especially during their teenage years, have been lying regularly. However, being caught for the first time does not necessarily mean that a lie has been told for the first time. It has most probably happened before with the child managing to escape from the consequences while making use of their parents’ ignorance at that time.

When parents catch their children lying, they should see it as a serious matter. Parents can share about their feelings when being lied to, such as feeling hurt, upset or angry. They can also talk about how lying is a bad habit or value to have as it goes against the child’s responsibility to keep them informed, like how it is the parents’ duties to be honest with their child. Parents can use certain symbolic consequence that requires the child to work off the offense, such as doing extra chores, and re-emphasize their expectation for truthful communication between them and their child.

Parents should openly discuss about the reasons why people lie, how lies destroy or tarnishes relationships and many other negative effects that come with lying. Most importantly, parents should express their appreciation for their child’s courage to reveal a hard truth, so that the child would be more inclined to always tell the truth, knowing that telling the truth isn’t as bad as it seemed.

The way parents communicate and its effectiveness, sets an example for their children to follow and greatly influences their children’s actions. Therefore, parents should be good role models to their children by not telling lies themselves. Always telling the truth isn’t easy, but it would be even more difficult to solve children’s lying behavior in the long run. When managing close and important relationships, advise your children not to be romantically or socially involved with a compulsive liar as they might get hurt at one point in time or even be negatively influenced to start lying.


Category(s):Child and/or Adolescent Issues, Child Development, Parenting

Source material from Psychology Today


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