How would you handle a child who is a perpetual liar?
If you had a child who lied about anything and seemingly everything -- how would you handle the situation? If it's been going on for several years?
I would sit them down and have an honest and frank conversation, but also leave room for them to be open and honest. I would explain my feelings about the lies and explain the dangers of lies. Then i would tell them my expectations of them from that point on and if they continue to lie this is what is going to happen and follow through. Also having a third party won't hurt such as a counselor or therapist to get to the root of the issue. Hope this helps, I recently had a similar situation with my sister and I think I nipped it in the bud, but time will tell. Hang in there.
If the relationship has fostered honesty, lying doesn't seem to remain a long term problem but rather something young children "try out" for a little while. I reward honesty with verbal accolades but also, when my kids were little, if two of them were in trouble, I would separate them and question them separately about what happened. The one who told the truth ended up with a consequence. The one who lied had the same consequence plus a consequence for lying, which made them doubly in trouble. They learned it wasn't worth it to lie because they ended up with two consequences instead of one. I also am really good at poker so I can read faces. If you know your kid's tales, then you'll know exactly when he or she is lying and bust them on the spot. Being effective at determining the lie immediately means the child comes to realize that you'll always know when they are lying. To this day, my teenager still asks me how I always knew when he was lying "every single time." I always tell him I have "Mama magic," LoL...
For a chronic problem that has cemented a bad-habit, I agree with brittvan22... Get a therapist involved.
I would confront the child every time he/she lies followed by discipline. There may also be other underlying issues such as the child feels like he/she must be perfect all the time, thus lying to protect that image.
You mentioned the lying has gone of for several years which begs the question how old is the child? I personally think that the age of the child would dictate the severity of consequences.
I have younger children and they do not realize they are lying. They are just starting to understand what a lie is and what happens when they lie they are 3 and 4.
If the child is older 6,7,8 I would go with the taking away toys, taking away priveldges etc. I would also ask the child why they think it's ok to lie or why they lied in the first place. Then intiate the consequence...
If the child is older 10+ I would get serious about consequences and their severity. I firmly believe that the lies become more dangerous as they age simply because the activites they engage in or their friends engage in become less and less monitored. In this case it's no holds barred, they've had the oppurtunity to learn about lying, the've seen the consequences and not learned from them now they need serious punishment 2 weeks grounded from TV, Internet, XYZ anything they enjoy is taking away. To school, homework, dinner, bath, bed or some form of that.
If the lying continues it's definitly time to get a therapist involved, keep track of any lying or other "odd" behaviors as the therapist will also want to know what else is going on at home, school and just in general to dig deeper for the root cause.
Good luck I can only imagine the frustration and worry that accompanies this question.
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