Why Do Kids Lie
It wasn't me Daddy! You must have heard your 5-year old say that you at some point or other, when you knew it were in fact he who did it. How do you deal with your kid, knowing he is lying to you? When your child lies to you, remember he is not doing it on purpose. The reasons why kids lie are:
Short-Term Memory: Children in the age group of five have short-term memory. If your kid tells you he didn't do it, chances are that he does not remember doing any thing wrong.
Wishing it away: Often, children wish that the wrong did not happen, and tend to believe that it actually did not. So, if your child denies a wrong, he simply might be convinced that he did not do it.
Imagination : A five-year-old child has a very fertile imagination, and loves to conjure up fantasy worlds of his own. He lives in a fantasy world, and thinks that all of it is actually true.
Fear of disapproval: Your kid does not want to disappoint you. He might fear the fact that a mistake could upset you, and he does not want to be in that situation. He tries to avoid that by lying to you.
Feel good factor: Your child wants to impress not just you, but also him. He makes up stories to ‘enhance' his amazing feats. There is an underlying desire for approval from parents that leads kids to come up with such tales.
Seeking attention: Children often desire attention from people around them. Your kid can easily learn that a tall one definitely will elicit a reaction from you, and decides to play his cards. He does not care if the response is not positive, his motive has been met - you reacted to his tale. He is successful in getting the attention he seeks this way.
Control : Kids often love to be in control of a situation, and make believe situations where they are in control.
Testing parents: It may sound frustrating to you, but your kid at this age is constantly trying to test the limits you will allow him to go. This gives them an understanding of their own powers in the household. They resort to stretching the truth as one of the ways to do this.
How to Treat Lying Behavior in Kids
So, how do you treat a lie your kid just told you? Try to understand how serious the offence is, and deal with it accordingly.
Accusations don't help. Mold your comments to elicit confession. Show sympathy. Assure your kid that you understand his point of view when he lies to you, but also clarify the reason to him. Your kid will take a cue from your comments and will try not to repeat the mistake. He will also realize that lying is thankless. On the other hand, your anger might aggravate this behavior in your kid. Your child will be closed to the lessons you are trying to teach, and will be more likely to keep on lying.
Be fair in your treatment. If your kid is trying to test the limits, or what he can get away with, gauge the gravity of the situation and mete out a treatment that the situation demands. Avoid being too hard on him. He will understand that he cannot really fool you with his behavior.
Harsh punishment is no good for minor offenses. Keep a positive attitude, but spare the rod when your kid confesses to a wrong he committed. Severe punishment for minor offenses leads kids to extremes; they either develop an overly strict conscience or become rebellious. Praise your child when he owns up to a mistake. It instills a sense of confidence in your child, and he learns the virtues of being honest. Your child may not completely understand the moral ramifications of lying. You need to explain the importance of honesty to your kid. You can tell stories that bring out the message. Some fairy tales and folk lore are good sources of such lessons.
I'll try in this article to provide Tips for Dad of different types and styles to relate their challenges and solutions. While having a kid may come naturally, being a good dad can be quite a challenge.
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