It’s not uncommon for a parent to feel a sense of hurt and betrayal when dealing with a child who lies often.
If that applies to you, you can relax! Lying is normal. It’s not right, but it’s very much normal behavior.
Take a look at this article. In it, you will find help and advice that you can use right away to improve your situation if your child is not as straightforward as you would like them to be.
Because of how the brain develops, young children (under about age 7) do not generally have the cognitive ability for deceitful lying, which requires that that they recognize the truth, can intellectually conceive of an alternate reality, and then sell that reality to someone else. Those are functions of the upstairs brain which is still very underdeveloped in young children.
So, when your 3 year old says he washed his hands but didn’t, he isn’t trying to deceive you. He’s actually trying to please you. He probably wishes he had washed his hands. He may be afraid that you’ll be disappointed because he forgot again, and more than anything, he wants your approval. So, he says, “Yeah, I washed them.”
Still, we want children to value the truth. It’s important we teach them to be honest. Here are some tips on curbing lies in young children.
1. Don’t punish children for lying. This only makes them feel like they’re bad and leads to sneaky behavior as they fear telling you the truth will get them punished again.
2. Talk to your child about the value of honesty and that the truth makes you happy. This challenges her original thought that hearing good news rather than the truth is what you want. When the threat of punishment is removed and she knows you value honesty, she’s much more likely to tell you the truth.
3. Don’t shame him or call him a liar. Remember, you’re influencing how…
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Original Image Source: Day Donaldson