- Family and Parenting
Is My Child Lying?
You were convinced that you found an ideal secret hiding place for candies and you were about to take the daily dose for your little chocolate ''exterminator''.
Surprisingly, the supplies are missing and you find out that they were given to a hungry cat because your kid felt sorry for the poor animal.
While the kid is telling you the detailed story of what happened, you are looking at ''proof'' tainted all over his face and clothes, and you are surprised because the child lies with so much self-confidence, without a blink of an eye. Don't despair, because all children experiment by twisting the truth. The more intelligent the child, the greater the number of invented stories. The severity of a lie depends on the motive behind the untruth, the age of the child and the rules of behaviour you set in terms of family.
Children start inventing things ever since the age of two, and in the fifth year of life, their imagination is so intensive that they sometimes cannot differentiate reality from fantasy. Sometimes, twisting the truth is the result of hidden desires, therefore, if your four-year-old child brings a toy from kindergarten, saying that the governess approved of it, don't proclaim the child a liar because the kid convinced himself that it actually happened, and all out of a burning desire to have that particular toy.
Many times children lie to stay out of trouble. The worst thing in a situation like this, is to punish your child, to lecture him or to accuse him of lying, which can deepen the fear and motivate the child to invent even more incredible stories. On the other hand, if you don't react in time and you ''close your eyes'' in front of tiny little untruths, there is a great danger that lying later in life, becomes a habit. Start explaining to your child in due time, that even when he or she wants something really, really bad (whether it's visiting Spiderman or going to Disneyland), it cannot always become a reality.
When telling a story to your child, make sure you emphasize the difference between reality and the events in the story, but pay attention not to soffocate the child's imagination as it is a great teacher, just to justify the fact of not writing his or her homework. The child can tell you it drove basis for developing creativity.
Around the age of six, children realize that lying is bad, but this doesn't stop them to use untruth in order to solve a problem or avoid a punsihment. In this life period, the child plans and enriches its repertoire of false excuses, and it will try to ''sell'' the story about being ill to the a bike ''a hundred miles an hour'' to prove himself or to raise self-esteem between its coevals.
Why does my child lie?
In order to guide the little Pinochio to the truth, you will make an example by always keeping your promises and you will never lie.
''White lies'' are untruths said in order to avoid hurting somebody or to protect oneself. When you are teaching your child to be truly honest, make sure to explain that it isn't nice to say ''Oh, your face is so wrinkled!'' to grandma or ''You're so fat!'' to the nice lady selling ice-cream, or to turn off an invitation from a friend by saying: ''You're boring, and I won't come cause I don't like you.'' You can practice games together by ''play pretending'' in which the child can learn what to say in a given situation.
Text in this article about children lying is written and partly translated from an article by doctor P.R. in The People's Health Magazine issued in 2009: Rijeka, No. 598-599. No plagiarism, please!
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