Do you have a little liar in your life? While it can be frustrating for your child to lie, did you also know that there is a positive side to this? Although it is not something you want to encourage, it may be something that your child finds comfort in. All bad. Still, you’re probably ready to nip it in the bud if your kid seems to be lying to you about everything under the sun.
Scary Mommy reached out to Stephanie Rosenfield, a mom coach and life coach, to help us understand why our child is acting in a certain way and what we can do to change it.
Wait, there’s more!
Now, your child has told you a lie. He or she is still sticking to it. Congratulations! Congratulations! While a pat on the head might seem like a little too much, it is important. Lying requires skill — skills that require the ability to plan ahead and the capability to understand what others are thinking and feeling.
According to one study, lying for the benefit or prosocial purposes can indicate emotional intelligence. In other words, children sometimes tell lies to protect people they love. Kids can lie for many reasons (AKA antisocial lies). It doesn’t matter what kind of lies your child tells you, it’s common.
What can I do to stop my child from lying?
“Living is a normal part of childhood. Rosenfield adds that lying in childhood is something all children do. Parents should also ask their child why they believe their child might lie. These prompts can be used to guide you through the process.
- Do they want to avoid trouble?
- It is something they wish could have happened.
- They are trying to imagine how an adult would react to such a thing.
- Do they want to elicit an adult’s emotion?
Rosenfield believes that parents can find the answers to their child’s lies by helping them understand the root causes and then finding the best solution. After all, adults tell lies all the time — sometimes big lies and often a bunch of little white lies. Think back to the last time that you called in sick at work, or shared with a friend that you had other plans. Most likely, you need a day or don’t want to hang out with your friends. It is important to understand that children can feel the same emotions as you.
Although it may seem like the easiest way to get your kids to tell the truth, parents often resort to punishment or frustration.Rosenfield warns that this is not the best way to deal with the situation.
Although there’s no magic way to make your child truth-telling, I find that channeling calm is my best approach. While you might feel angry or rage-y, keep in mind that there is a way to channel calm.This is normal.“Then you can be curious and ask questions. Rosenfield stated that reacting with anger or frustration is not a good idea and could cause them to lie even more.
When does intervention become necessary?
It is unrealistic to expect children to stop lying overnight. Parents should be ready to spend time with their children and help them find other ways to express themselves. Rosenfield advises that if children lie consistently for several weeks, or if they start telling “big” lies repeatedly, it is worth seeking out help from a child therapist. This can help to determine if there is something more serious.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can help you identify and address any behavioral issues in your child.