Thursday, 6 November 2008

Why Kids Tell Lies and What to Do About it

Catching your child in a lie is maddening, painful and upsetting. What else does he lie about? How can I trust him? Behavioral therapist James Lehman explains why kids tell lies and suggests a better way for parents to deal with it.
all blog tools blogger templates
Q: When your child lies to you, it hurts. As parents, it makes us angry and we take it personally. We feel like we can never trust our child again. Why does lying cause such anger, pain and worry for parents?

James: Parents are understandably very afraid of their children getting hurt and getting into trouble, but they have very little protection against these things as they send their kids out into the world. Kids learn from other kids and from external media, and this makes parents feel unsafe because they can't control the information and ideas that their children are exposed to.

Your kid's honesty becomes the connector between what's happening to him on the outside world and what happens at home. You need him to tell you honestly what happened today, so that you can honestly decide if that's best for him. You need him to tell you what he's doing so you can decide if that's going to help him meet his responsibilities now and in the future. When parents don't get the right information, they're afraid they'll make the wrong choices for their kids.

When your kid lies, you start to see him as "sneaky," especially if he continues to lie to you. You feel that he's going behind your back, that he's undermining you. You begin to think that your kids are "bad"." Because, certainly, if lying is bad, liars are bad. It's just that simple.