Every parent understands the importance of instilling good ethical values and manners in his/her child from an early age. However, during the ages 4-6, as a child begins his venture out to school and starts interacting and learns the basic social skills, lying is one of the negative traits that he/she acquires. This becomes a cause for great concern.
It must be understood that although this experimentation of distorting the truth is somewhat common in young, developing children, they must be guided against lying from an early age to prevent it from becoming a habit.
Following are four tips that will help parents stop their children from falling into the unhealthy habits of dishonesty.
Find Out The Causes
The first and foremost thing that a parent must do is round up and identify the reason why your child is lying. Possibly, there are a number of reasons why children indulge in dishonesty in speech. The most common and recurring one is to save themselves from trouble / punishment, i.e. to prevent negative consequences of any of their actions.
An example could be something as simple as your child accidentally breaking a vase, and fearing punishment or his/her parent’s anger, he/she lies to shield himself/herself from it.
Other reasons could be bragging or fantastical stories narrated by your child. It is significant that as a parent, you identify the reasons and counteract accordingly and wisely to ensure an honest upbringing of your child.
Be Role Model
Imagine telling your child off for lying, and a few minutes later, they catch you on the phone lying about your whereabouts. Not only will the child be confused, he/she will justify his/her lying by stating that you do it too.
In addition, it can contribute to rebellious behaviour emerging in your child. This negative aspect can then spread to other areas as well. On the other side, being a good role by emanating and teaching positivism can inspire your child to be like you. Children tend to imitate their parents. Therefore, abstain from even the simplest and smallest of lies in front of your child.
Reward Your Child
Positive reinforcement is the best way to push your child in the direction of honesty and goodness. If your child comes clean about the mess, he/she made in the living room, reward him with a pat as you explain that the mess has to be cleared by him/her and help him/her along. That way, he/she will be more likely, to tell the truth in the future. What’s more, it will establish a healthy and strong bond between you and your child.
It’s Okay To Bend The Rules Sometimes
It’s much better to make some negotiations and bend in your child’s favour sometimes to prevent him/her from lying. Let them have their favourite snack once in a while, let them play with the toys they want. Of course, all this while making no compromise on their safety.
To sum it up, it is important to understand that lying is somewhat natural in the early ages. Do not panic, instead, focus on educating your child about the negative consequences of lying and rewarding them when they are honest in spite of fear. Happy parenting!