There can be no parent who is not familiar with a child telling a lie when they are asked a question. This could go from a little white-lie, to telling lies that are of a far more serious nature.
The parenting dilemma here lies in the fact that, the actual act of telling a lie in itself breaks the barriers of trust between the child and the parent. Once a lie is told, there is no changing it, no taking it back, and no easy resolution to solving the problems that it creates.
There are many logical reasons as to why children tell lies, but the main issue has to do with them being afraid of the consequences that lead to the lie in the first place.
Causation of lying
Take for example, a child is playing in his room and suddenly becomes fascinated with a picture of himself hanging on the wall.
In excitement, he reaches for it to draw it closer, yet he is too short to reach it. So he searches for a means to bring it down to his own level. Perhaps he uses a stick, or a broom, but somehow, in his actions of trying to get the picture off the wall, he accidentally knocks his lamp off of his bedside table, busting it into pieces.
Upon hearing the noise his mother enters his room, but by this time the child has already hid the item he used when he was trying to get the picture off the wall. When he is asked how the lamp fell and broke, he states that their kitty knocked it down. This one small lie, will undoubtedly lead to many others to cover up the first one, unless he confesses to what really happened. If the child would have simply admitted to his actions from the get go, there would have been no reason to lie at all, but instead his fear propelled him into the act before he could control his own emotions.
Consequences of lying
Eventually the truth to this matter will come out, perhaps due to the child’s discomfort of having lied, or by the mother figuring out the real reason the lamp was damaged on her own.
Either way, lies cannot go on forever, because the truth always has away of coming back to get you. Now the child will be in more trouble due to having lied about what really occurred. Again, it could have all been so easily explained if the child had only opted to tell the truth rather than to lie. Now the parents will question their child’s statements every time a question is asked.
Lies deteriorate trust. This is especially true within the family. The best recourse of action here would be to fully explain the meaning of lying to the child and laying down a justifiable punishment.
There really is no easy way to prevent a child from lying other than communicating with them and explaining what will happen if they do. The following might help other parents in dealing with a child who lies.
• Discuss how you feel about lies before they ever begin to be a problem.
• Explain the meaning in-behind lying, and ensure that your child does understand.
• Communicate in a way that help’s the child to understand how they would feel if mom or dad lied to them.
• Depending on your child’s age, have them do research on lying, and later do a one page report on why they should not tell lies.
• Enforce the rules, make it clear what type of punishment the child should expect if they get caught lying.
Perhaps these points might be of benefit for other parents who are dealing with this same type of situation. In any regard, it is good to discuss the concept of lying so that everyone can be aware that it is a very bad influence in not only children’s lives, but adult’s lives as well. Telling a lie does not have an age discrimination attached to it.
About the author: Misty Keith is a featured writer of ArticlesGratuits.com. She is a wife and mother of three. She has been published in many venues on the web, as well as one print publication.