The Habit of Lying in Children
Causes of the Habit of Lying in Children and Suggestions for Solutions
Every parent wants their child to be honest. But sometimes children lie and it can become a habit. So, how to break the children’s habit of lying?
Reasons for Lying in Children.
Lying in children usually starts with exaggerating the events. Or if there is someone around him who lies and he stays in the same environment with this person frequently, he starts to lie. In either case, a small child will not realize until a certain time that these two situations are not actually wrong. But apart from these, there are many reasons for a child to say sideways. These reasons are as follows;
- The child tries to escape from fear when he is afraid.
- The child feels anxiety and tries to escape from this anxiety.
- The effort to gain acceptance in the child’s environment.
- The child tries to escape from the prohibitions imposed on him or his environment.
- Trying to make a situation happen that the child wants to happen but is not.
- The presence of people lying around the child.
- Desire for attention, Lying about attention to mother, father or a close relative.
- Jealousy of sibling or parent.
- Child missing a person.
- The child’s desire to escape punishment.
There are some main reasons behind all these reasons. When a child lies to gain acceptance, it’s usually because there are people around him who don’t like him or try to change him.
The fact that the child lies just to get what he wants sometimes occurs because he is a child who gets everything he wants.
All these reasons have solutions. These solutions should be made with the greatest care of the parents. So, what are the solutions?
1- Being a Model Mom and Dad
The brains of children, even animals and adults, work in a way that is predisposed to modelling. The child of a smoking parent smokes by modeling his/her parents. The child who models the angry mother or father becomes an angry child. It’s the same with lying. Even if the mother or father does not lie, the fact that there is only one person lying around the child causes the child to take this as a model. It would be more understandable to explain it like this; A child who sees a person who says he did something he did not do and receives congratulations as a result of lies begins to lie just to be congratulated.
The situation is much more difficult if the parents lie. You can explain to your child that it is bad for someone else to lie. But if the mother or father is lying, the child does not understand that it is bad. Even if you tell the child not to lie, it does not seem strange to him because you are lying. That’s why you should be an honest parent model to your child. You should never tell any lies, big or small, in front of your child.
2- Discover your child’s talents and give responsibility according to their abilities in the future
To know what a child’s or person’s talent is, that talent must be discovered. Find out what your child is more prone to. But while doing this, never judge or force him to do what you want if he does not have the ability to do it. Otherwise, the child starts to lie in order to be accepted in all matters because of the feeling of not being accepted by you.
After discovering the child’s abilities, do not throw the child in unrelated directions, just like in the exploration period. This lowers self-confidence and the child resorts to lies because of low self-esteem.
3- Before You Think It’s Small, Learn to Listen to Your Child
A child wants others to listen to him. A child who listens to him around him will be different from a child who does not listen to him around him. A child who is not listened to will eventually feel that he is not valued. This later goes into lying, both at home and outside. The child resorts to lies because of his desire to attract attention in order to make himself listen. These lies; There are lies such as illness, saying something that is not accepted as if it is taken, and pretending to do something that is not done. If this is not noticed, the child will continue to do this until he becomes an adult.
4- Never compare your child with siblings or peers.
In fact, almost every reason children lie is to feel accepted and loved. When you compare your child with his sibling or peer, the child starts to feel worthless. The feeling of worthlessness is different between a child and an adult. When the adult feels worthless, they run away from it, but a child tries to show himself as valuable in the ways his family wants to make that feeling go away. In the future, he lies not only on matters that his family will find valuable, but also in order to gain the value of his friends and even his teachers. He understands that the person in front of him will feel valuable in any way, and he lies.
Therefore, never compare your child with his sibling or peers. If you have done this all this time, make your child feel that he is valuable only because of his own qualities and will be loved even if he is not the same as someone else. If you don’t know how to do this, you can do it simply by complimenting a physical feature of him without exaggeration.
5- Don’t Create A Feeling Of Insecurity And Don’t Overreact In A Wrong Situation
When a child does not feel safe, he finds the first escape route by lying. Confidence and fear go hand in hand. When a child is afraid, he feels insecure and the first thing he does is lie. This is mainly due to the fact that the parents are extremely angry people. If a child who breaks a simple object gets an extreme reaction from his parents, he will lie next time in the same or similar situation because of fear and insecurity. Even if it stays with little lies at a young age, that little lie turns into a big lie when something bad happens to the child or in adolescence.
So instead of overreacting when your child does something wrong, explain why it is wrong.
6-Don’t Forget to Congratulate Your Child
Children and adults alike become a much more honest person when congratulated. One of the biggest mistakes parents make without realizing it is not to congratulate the child. While holding a pencil is a success for a child, parents do not congratulate them because they think it is a necessary behavior. This is so in many cases, they forget to congratulate many times, they only congratulate when the child achieves what they see in themselves as successful. In such a situation, the child feels inadequate after a while, resorts to various lies and asks to be congratulated. Congratulate your child’s actions because even a small issue that you do not see as success creates a desire to be congratulated for that child.
7- Stay in a Common Decision as a Mother and Father
When a child grows up in inconsistency, he does not know what is right and what is wrong. If the mother says no on a subject and the father says yes, this creates a lack of perception in the child. The simplest example of this is: If the mother gets angry and the father is unresponsive when the child hits his sibling or peer, the child chooses the side that is most attractive to him. He hits siblings or peers, hides them from the mother, and lies. To give a different example, when the child breaks an object, the mother or father says that it is dangerous. But if the other party doesn’t pretend that it’s not a big deal and say that he should be careful, the child acquires the habit of lying inconsistently.
8- Don’t Be Overly Authoritarian
Don’t put too much pressure on your child to listen to you. Explain to him in a calm tone why what he is doing or wants to do should not be done. You cannot educate a child by getting angry and shouting. The way to educate a child is to be calm and determined.
9- Give Small Rewards When Your Child Is Honest
As bad as it is when a child tells a lie by getting angry and saying that the lie is wrong, it is just as bad not to congratulate a child who tells the truth. Reward your child if he is honest, even in matters that may not be considered great honesty. This award does not necessarily have to be in money. Kiss your child, take them to the park. Giving even a little love instills honesty in a child.
Consider all these suggestions for your own child. If there is a child who lies, first question yourself, try the suggestions. If the child still continues to lie despite trying the suggestions, seek help from a pedagogue.