Dealing with child's habit of lying

Contributed by : Dr Ajab Primuswala   
Dealing with child's habit of lying

Children lie when they feel they actions will not be accepted by their parents. Assure your child that you will be there to support them when things go downhill.

  • When you say that your child is lying, there are two aspects to it. Whether the child is lying to save himself/herself or whether the child is lying for fun sake.
  • If the child is lying to get away from punishment for something which they did, it is their defence.
  • Make it a point to make them realise that their behaviour is unaccepted. You can do this by telling them, “Irrespective of whatever you have lied, I know the things you have done. You can’t hide it from me.”
  • If they are lying for fun, make them realise that there are consequences for this lying habit.
  • Lying is something which they are using as a defence mechanism or as a method of manipulating and altering the truth.
  • Here, being calm is the most important requirement for the parent because as parents we feel, “Oh! How can my child lie to me?”
  • You have to be very sure that your child is lying to you. You will have to talk to them and give them a solid proof that you know they were lying.
  • You have to be sure and be thorough with the facts because children are very smart. If you just say, “You are lying and I know”, they will not agree to it. So keep your facts ready and then confront them.
  • Confronting your child has to be an immediate action after the episode. If you know that your child has lied to you today, then confront him/her there and then. Do not keep it hanging.
  • Lying tendency also comes with the concept of fear. Maybe your child is too scared of sharing his or her stuff with you and that's the reason they might be lying to you.
  • Here, what you can do is, try and gain that trust and develop a rapport with your child where the child doesn’t want to lie to you. It is just that they are scared of your behaviour towards them and this is motivating them to lie.
  • So first check for yourself that whether you are the reason behind your child’s lying. If yes, you can rectify yourself and go ahead and reassure them that they can share anything and everything with you. Tell them, “It’s okay, I will handle it and you can trust me completely, you don’t need to lie to me”.

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