Your 4year old son is playing in the next room. Suddenly, you hear a crash. You run to your son, and you find him standing next to a shattered vase. The guilt on his face tells you everything.
Sternly, you ask your son, “Did you break that vase?
He quickly replies, “No, Mummy, I didn’t!”.
Perhaps, this is not the first time you have caught your four-year-old in an obvious lie. Of course, you should be worried about his behavior.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW.
All lying is bad.
A lying tongue should be disapproved. Even God hate it.
But not all lying is equal.
Some lies are said to cause harm to others, such lies are malicious.
Other lies are said under duress or under the pressure of the moment, maybe to avoid punishment or embarrassment.
It is true that all lying is wrong, but some lies are more serious than others. If your child told a lie, it would be nice to give thought to his age and his reason for hiding the truth.
You should address the Problem while your child is still young. Relationships should be based on trust. Lying will destroy that trust.
Therefore, telling the truth, especially when it’s hard is an important lesson for children.
In whatever manner, do not panic.
The fact is, your child has lied. Because he has lied, does not necessarily mean he is headed to being morally corrupt.
Do you know that foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child? It’s the fact.
Most children display such foolishness by lying. They feel it’s the best way to avoid punishment. How you respond, is no doubt important.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Try to identify or discern why your child is lying. Ask yourself the following questions:
Does he fear punishment and why?
If your child fabricate stories to impress his friends, is it because he is not old enough to fathom the difference between fantasy and reality?
If you know and understand why your child is lying, you will be better able to correct him.
Often times, use statements of questions. In the scenario described at the beginning of this article, the mother already knew the facts. Therefore, she asked her son: “Did you break that vase?”.
Afraid of the mom’s wrath, the child lied.
But instead of asking an accusatory question, the mother should have simply stated: “Oh! no, you broke the vase!”
By using a statement rather than a question, she does not tempt the child to lie-and she is helping the child to build a pattern of honesty.
Naturally, children desire to make their parents happy or to please them. Therefore, use that inclination to your advantage.
It is vital to let your child know the importance of honesty as it adds value to the family. Tell your child that, you always expect him or her to speak the truth.
It Should be clear to him that lies destroys trust and it can take a long time to rebuild such trust once broken.
Set the example.
Your example in speaking the truth is noticed.
Obviously, you can’t expect your child to be truthful, if he hears you utter such words as “Tell him I’m not home” when you do not want to speak to someone on the phone, or “I’m staying home sick today” when you really just want to relax.
Calmly tell your child that even if he or she does not mean to break something and if asked about it, he should not say “it’s my brother or sister did it”.
Furthermore, let your child know, that no matter what we may do, it will always make matters worst if we lie about it, and we shouldn’t even tell only half of the truth.
Irrespective of your child’s age, let him or her know the potential consequences of speaking lies. Inform the child that people will stop believing in him or her.
If your child is aware of the consequences of lying, it will serve as deterrent and will assist you both, to know the next action to take when lying occurs.
Tell your children you rely on them for telling the truth. Apologize if your child learns that you have lied in someway. It speaks volumes.
Once our children grows up, becoming older and have cultivated the habit of speaking the truth, we will be happier.
The children will have reasons to be grateful on how they were brought up, hence improving their relationship with others.
Never over react when your kids says the truth. Wasn’t easy for them to spill it out. So control how you will react, else they won’t be inclined to say the truth henceforth.
It is important to reward your child for always speaking the truth, even in a tough situation. It will encourage him to always speak truth.