This post may contain affiliate links. See the full affiliate disclosure here for more info.
There some habits that are second nature to kids, and lying is usually one of them. At such a tender age, most kids are still trying to strike a balance between good and evil, while exploring what your actions would be like if they do certain things.
Sometimes kids tend to fantasize about untrue things and unrealistic events that when spoken of can come out as a lie. They also lie to get out of trouble or because it suits them at that particular point in time.
As a parent, it’s your utmost duty not to encourage such lying within your kids and try to explain to them the consequences of lying and the negative effects lying would have on them and those around them.
Consistent lying mustn’t be allowed to develop within your child as he or she grows in age. It becomes a menace that can cause a lot of damage when the lies become too much.
As a good parent, have you been looking for ways to stop your kids from lying but all you found have so far been futile? Right here in this article, we will be sharing 10 tested and effective strategies on how to stop your kids from lying.
1. Appreciate and reward honesty
Honesty does not necessarily mean not telling lies, it also means doing things that are morally right. The surrounding of a child has a lot of impact on the way he does things.
His behaviour and actions are shaped by the environment he finds himself. Establishing a household rule where honesty is much appreciated instils the habit of telling the truth in your child, as he already knows he will be applauded for doing so.
In your household, honesty should always be the key. From their early stages, you should teach your kids the usefulness of honesty. This will help the child value honesty and learn that telling the truth is always the best route to choose no matter how difficult the situation might be.
As a parent, when you see your kids being honest always try to encourage them. By sometimes being lenient with them or even praising them for their honesty, they begin to notice that their honesty is being rewarded. This makes them adopt a culture of honesty within them.
2. Be an honest role model
You are your child’s role model. It’s either you lay good examples and build your child positively or do things the other way round and destroy your child.
This is an actual truth that you must understand for you to be able to change your child’s lying habit.
Your child might be young, but don’t ever think he is not watching your actions. Therefore, you must always tell the truth even when it comes to things that don’t count because kids can’t distinguish things that count from those that don’t. For example, don’t lie about your child’s age just for him to get access to some things.
When you go about trying to justify lying and making excuses, thinking that your child might be little so they can’t tell the difference, always have it in mind that this little child is seeing all you are doing and saying and when they act on it, you will have no moral justification to question them or be mad at them because they are just behaving the same way they did.
3. Differentiate truth from lies
The age of your child doesn’t count when it comes to changing certain habits. In this case, you just have to set the boundaries between truths and lies. More so, you have to eliminate the idea of white lies in your child if he has such. Make him understand that lying to get certain things in his favour won’t help at all, it will only cause more damage.
Another effective way to make use of this technique is by explaining the consequences of being dishonest to your child. And vice versa, the benefits of telling the truth even in difficult situations.
Make them understand that the more lies they tell, the harder it is for those around them to believe whatever they say, including you.
You need to explain to your kids the difference between telling the truth and being brutally honest, they have to know that they don’t necessarily have to announce to everybody around them that someone is ugly just because they think it’s honest, they should know how to balance honesty with compassion.
4. Last warning strategy
When it comes to stopping your kids from lying, this strategy can also be very effective. With this strategy, all you have to do is make your kid understand the fact that you are giving him just one more chance to tell you the truth. If not, he will be made to face more consequences for lying to you.
Giving your child a warning and one more chance, to tell the truth, can help build the child’s confidence in you and in themselves. You must also help them understand that lying is bad and the fact that you are giving them one last chance does not mean they will always get that same grace from other people, so being honest from the get-go is always the best route to take.
5. Establish the reason for the lie
There are always different reasons why kids tell lies, for instance, it might be to avoid punishment or they are just merely trying to brag to their peers, sometimes it might just be a mere fantasy or wishful thinking on the part of the child.
When you are able to establish the reason for the lie your kid told, then you would be able to develop a suitable plan on how to resolve the issue.
Bragging about things that aren’t true for instance, is an outright lie that your kids tell either to gain popularity or because they have low-self esteem and they are trying to boost their self-confidence.
It’s up to you to teach your child that bragging about what isn’t true would make their peers see them as liars and will lose respect for them. You can engage them in social activities that can help with low self-esteem and also help them make friends.
6. Give your kids an outlet to express themselves
When you notice that your child is fond of telling tales and that have no truth in them, and are just made up stories that are just wishful thinking on their part. It’s normally okay for you to encourage them or look for an outlet in wish they can express themselves and their story properly. You can always give them a pen and paper or even sit them in front of your laptops to write out there fantasy and tell their stories.
Some kids who make up stories are not always lying, they are just too imaginative and they end up talking too much and they can even tell you things that you may find difficult to believe. Don’t criticize them, but rather help them find an outlet to channel all those imaginations into.
7. Try not to be harsh on your kids
Drawing your kids close to you as a parent is one of the best choices you can make.
When you are their best friend and confidant, they won’t have any reason to lie to you because they already know that you are there to talk to and listen to them.
When you are the kind of parent that is extremely harsh on your kids then they will have difficulty in confiding in you because they are scared of the criticism and harsh words that will follow.
It is your duty to make your kids trust you enough to know that they can always tell you the truth without harsh repercussions or fear that they will be misjudged. When you become really close and friendly to your kids they won’t have any reason to want to lie to you.
8. Teach your kids how lying affects their relationship with people
When you catch your kid in a lie, instead of yelling at the child or trying to punish the child, you can easily sit the child down and explain how lying affects their relationship with you.
Make them understand that lying would make other people lose their trust in them too. Teach your kids that honesty is the best policy and that if they lose the trust people have in them then it becomes extremely hard for people to believe anything they say.
Help your child understand the hurt others feel when they are lied to and how it can strain the relationship for good.
9. Set house rules about lying
When you begin to notice that your child is developing the habit of lying, then it’s up to you as a parent to look for ways to stop the child from lying.
You can easily create rules that forbid lying in the house or outside the house. With these rules also comes some form of punishment for any member of the family caught breaking or disobeying the rule.
The rule should stress the importance of honesty and the effect on lying should also be emphasized upon. The rule should always be a constant in your child’s life.
Try teaching your kids about honesty as early as possible is the best way to go as a parent, and they should know the consequences associated with breaking the rules at all times.
10. Seek professional help
If despite everything you have done and lying becomes habitual and seems to have a negative effect on the child, as a final resort you can always seek help from a child psychologist.
Seeking professional help might be the best route to take when you have tried everything else and it all seems to be failing. Taking your child to see a psychologist or a counsellor might actually help the child stop the habit.