'Moms Talk' Q & A: What Should You Do If Your Child Lies?
Parents stress importance of telling the truth.
Each week the council will answer a question on parenthood posed to them by readers or another member of council.
This week, the Moms Council addresses how to respond when you catch a child lying.
Here's what the Moms had to say:
Susan Jerome: I can't say I actually "caught" them in a lie. I have doubted what they say, as the truth, sometimes but really can't say, for sure, if they were lying. One of my children has a tendency to exaggerate and I have questioned that because the story was just too unbelievable. I tried to determine what made the child tell the tale. Were they looking for attention and so told this story? Were they scared and using this as a way to explain their feelings?
I also talked about the consequences of telling tales (Peter and the Wolf) and explained that if they continued to do this, they wouldn't have any friends because people would never believe what they were saying and the trust people have in them would be eroded.
In my experience, it was a way to get attention because the child felt unnoticed so I made sure I gave positive reinforcement to other things they were doing in an effort to diminish the need to tell a tall tale.
Fortunately, I haven't run into this problem often!
Kim Zannetti: My husband and I just always spoke with the kids on how important the truth was. We always shared with them that no matter what happened, if they told the truth, the outcome would always be much better.
I had a friend whose son was constantly lying. She kind of "set him up," by telling him that on a day of from school, they were going to go somewhere special (like the zoo), and then to lunch. When the day came, she shared with him "I lied." Needless to say, he was pretty upset, but she used it as a "teaching moment" to show him how lying affects people. I don't know if I agree with the method, but she did share that it cut down on the lying considerably.