This is what you can do if you don’t want your child to become a little liar.
Children’s lies are often a concern for many parents. How can a 4 year old imagine incredible stories? And how is it possible that they lie when we ask who broke the great-grandmother’s vase? The experts have an explanation.
According to the Child Mind Institute Psychologist, Matthew rouseFor children to lie about little stories is completely normal, as well as for them to lie about that mischief they committed. To get something, to prove a consequence, or to gain approval, children lie. And that is a fact.
What do children lie for?
The good thing about a child lying is that it is part of their cognitive and emotional development. As this happens, the child is reaffirming her language and imagination, and learning to lie is part of this stage.
According to an investigation titled “The nature and effect of lies on young childrens ”posted on the Wiley Science Library site, cheating by children is common between the ages of 2 and 4.
According to this research, four-year-olds lie, on average, every two hours, and six-year-olds lie, on average, every one hour. With these numbers, we must be attentive to the lies of the smallest of the house.
According to experts, the lies of young children have different objectives, such as avoid responsibility for transgressions, to accuse falsely to brothers, and control behavior of others.
I have two children ages 4 and 6. They are in full swing of the “pious” lies. When they do mischief, one accuses the other, and so on, until I can unravel the truth.
My children don’t usually lie to me. But I have noticed that when I get very angry about something, or scold them for something they have done, next time, they will lie. I will give a concrete example: if my son accidentally throws a glass of water on the table and I don’t get angry because it was an accident, there is a greater chance that when I see him and ask him who it was, he will tell me “it was me mom ”. Well, you know I’ll just give you a cloth and put it to clean.
But if when one of them breaks something, I get angry, chances are they will try to lie about it next time.
Lying as a way to gain approval
Many children often lie to gain the approval of others, or to attract attention, depending on the environment in which they are. Thus, it is normal to hear children tell others “my house is bigger” or “I can run at lightning McQueen speed”, or “my dad can fly to China on a rocket ship”.
When you realize that your child is lying to gain the approval of others, you should explain that it is not necessary to tell lies about it, and that you can be sure that they will love him as they are. In the meantime, if it’s an innocent lie, which makes your imagination work, you can rest easy.
The lie to avoid responsibility
Many children often use lies as a channel to avoid certain responsibilities. Most of the time this has to do with certain naughty things they did, which makes Mom and Dad very angry. So they discover that if they lie they don’t get the scolding.
Try focusing on the consequence of their actions and not on the event itself. If he has thrown away and soiled something, hold him accountable and have him clean it up himself. In this way, prevent her from being afraid of your sermons, so that the next time she will not lie again.
The stages of lying
According to the psychologist Eileen Kennedy-Moore, there are different stages in terms of children’s lies, according to their cognitive and emotional development:
- Around 2 years: At this stage, children basically lie to cover up their bad behavior.
- Around 4 years: Besides lying to cover bad behavior, they love to create fictional stories, and see the reaction of adults to it.
- Around 8 years: They begin to dabble in professional lying, to put it funny, because at this age they embellish their lies with nuances and can sound quite credible. At this stage they often lie to get approval.
What to do about it
Neither children nor adults like to be scolded or disapproved of by others. But our duty as parents is to teach our children about honesty and how the path of lies can be a winding path that leads to bigger problems.
Learn the difference
Pay attention to what kinds of lies your child makes and what their goal is. If your lie has to do with a story about dragons in the yard, or a dinosaur in the closet, let your imagination run wild. But pay special attention when his lies get him in trouble and teach him the consequences of it.
Teach by example
It is useless if you teach your child to be honest if you are going to hide from the collector and send your child to say that “dad is not home.” Show him honesty in everyday actions, and show him that everyone is responsible for their actions.
Thank your son for his honesty
“Thank you son for telling me,” I told my 4-year-old son the other day because he stepped forward and recognized that it was he who had broken a glass. He was not afraid, he simply acknowledged it, and asked for forgiveness. I thanked him for doing it and told him he was a good boy for being honest, despite his mistake breaking glass. In this way, my son learned that there is no reason to hide the truth.
Learn as an adult to deal with the little lies of your child, but always paying attention that they do not pass to adults. Don’t be angry, but act accordingly. And remember, the best way you can get your child to be honest is by example.