Top 10 Reasons Why A Child Might Lie And What You Can Do As A Parent
In the life of every parent, sooner or later, there comes a moment when they are faced with the fact that the child begins to tell a lie.
“How could he deceive or cheat on me? After all, I always trusted him, taught only good things, but he betrayed my trust, let me down.” This is how some parents may think when faced with dishonesty from their children.
Although the first beginnings of lies can appear at 2 years old, babies under 4 years old do not know how to lie at all. They do not have enough developed logical thinking to come up with a scheme of deception, they do not have the ability to look at things from the point of view of another person, their imagination is not developed enough to come up with non-existent details. They hardly distinguish reality from fantasy, are easily distracted, and forget what they did or said (and where did the candy go?).
Adults are often afraid of this, mistaking the child's fantasies for lies. But these are completely different things. As in a real game with dolls and cars, the child himself becomes the hero of his stories, in which he can try on different roles, for example, try to become the strongest, bravest, and most skillful. All this is necessary for its normal, full-fledged development.
A good fantasy, ingenuity is evidence of a lively mind, a developed imagination. Imagination is one of the valuable qualities of a person; it must not be destroyed but directed in the right direction. And if your child is telling a fairy tale again today with inspiration, do not rush to accuse him, it is better to say: “You have invented a wonderful story, let's write it down, you will draw pictures, and we will get a real book.”
By listening to your child's fantasies, you can easily establish what he needs at the moment. After all, the child talks about what he dreams about. From these stories, you can learn a lot about the essence, character, perception of the child, since much comes from the subconscious desires of his soul.
However, in the same period, a completely different lie arises - the real one. After about four years, the child begins to better navigate: for what and why he was punished and praised today; how to repeat a pleasant situation for yourself. The child is looking for favorable options for him and will certainly discover one of the simplest - deceptions. By about 7-8 years of age, most children already clearly distinguish fantasy from reality. Lying becomes a moral category. Children begin to understand that lying is bad not because adults do not like lying, but because they cannot rely on a liar, they do not trust him, they do not want to be friends with him. And, nevertheless, there may be reasons that make children cheat.
A systematic lie is a symptom of some kind of trouble in a child's life. This is evidence not of moral, but, rather, of the child's psychological problems.
The top 10 reasons why a child might tell a lie:
One of the main reasons for lying at any age is fear. The child lies since he is worried that he will be punished. Toddlers easily confess their misconduct until they are punished for these misdeeds. If the baby is silent in response to the formidable question of the parent: “Did you do this?”, It means that he already has the insight of discipline. This silence is, in fact, the first lie in his life. The kid still cannot come up with a story to justify himself, all that remains is to be silent or cry, or deny the obvious. This behavior of the child may be because the parents are too cruel or inconsistent in their behavior. The child may be too difficult to meet their expectations, and the parents may not be able to accept the child as he is. Then the child is forced to resort to lies for the sake of self-preservation.
A large number of prohibitions can also trigger childhood deception. If adults are constantly repeating "no", then, by giving temptations, the child moves to tricks. So, a small deception becomes a way to get what he dreams about, which cannot be achieved in another way, or the path is not yet clear.
Another important reason can be the desire for love and praise. The child begins to boast of non-existent successes, lies, elaborates existing ones to achieve parental encouragement. Usually, the parents of such children demand too much from the child.
Deception can be associated with a desire to assert themselves, to look extraordinary in the eyes of adults or children. In response to the successes of peers, the child may talk about their fictional exploits, the wealth of their parents, etc. (which may be a sign of low self-esteem). Disadvantaged children are more likely to lie. Factually, it is more difficult for them to compete with their peers in their studies, in the availability of toys, in interesting leisure, and they maintain their status with lies.
Affected pride can also induce deception. For example, if a child is unable to respond to their abusers, they may begin to invent stories in which they look like a hero. Such stories have a psychotherapeutic effect and help the baby cope with reality.
When a child is lying, and you feel sorry for him, this suggests that he wants to avoid responsibility for something. Does he hurt something? Have you asked a lot? Was the teacher unfair? And inside you, everything is shrinking, and there is a desire to do for him? Such a child lacks confidence in his results, he is afraid of mistakes, therefore he comes up with non-existent enemies and obstacles of an insurmountable order. What's the way out? Break tasks into steps, then he will not be so scared.
Very often, the reason for children's lies is the too ardent desire of adults to bring up a polite, kind, intelligent person. Out of the best intentions, parents teach the child to hide their emotions, do not allow him (and themselves) to talk about their negative feelings. For example, when a child says that he does not love his brother, he hears: "You can't talk like that!"
The reason for children's lies can be an example of adults when a child is faced with the fact that words do not always correspond to actions, and promises are very quickly forgotten. The day the child discovers that he has been deceived will be the collapse of parental authority. From that day on, he will internally allow himself to do the same with adults (it does not matter whether he is aware of this or not). Remember, imitation is one of the most important ways to teach a child, and parents are the main role model.
Children may lie to protect or not offend a comrade, which is called a “saving lie”.
And, of course, the child can lie just to spite. Children are well aware that lying annoys adults, and sometimes this is exactly what they want - they want to anger their parents, even if they have to endure the punishment.
If your kids are constantly being caught lying down, this could be cause for concern. When a bad habit becomes frequent, it can create problems in the future regarding the development of their personality. Therefore, it is important to correct your children and encourage them to tell the truth.
Do not pretend that you believed, but calmly say that these words cause you doubts. In such cases, there is nothing better than a calm and reasonable conversation without raised tones. Be sure to tell your child how you felt about the truth behind the child's words. The child should hear from you about your grievance, see that you are sincerely upset. The parental attitude towards lying should be quite clear and definite. On the one hand, there is no need to demand confessions, interrogations, and a trial of the "criminal", on the other hand, you should not hesitate to call a spade a spade.
In any case, the child should know that there is no need to tell a lie to the parents. Think about what prevents the child from being frank with you, why he is hiding certain facts. Try to become close people with your child who simply do not need a lie.
Show children often that you love them without any conditions, regardless of the mistakes made, that everyone makes big and small mistakes in life, and there is nothing wrong with that.
If you want to teach a child to be open and honest, then you must be ready to hear from him sometimes the bitter truth, and not only what is pleasant to you.
Of course, it will take a long time to come to the desired result, but we can speed up this process if we teach in our children such self-confidence that they will not have any need to lie. And at the same time, the more often we begin to encourage them for good deeds, the more they will be inclined to tell the truth.
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