How to Treat a Child Who Lies

Has your child suddenly started telling lies? Even if this situation upsets you, don’t worry, many children may experience this type of problem during some part of their developmental period.

So why do children lie, how should we treat a lying child? In this article, we told you what you need to know about lying behavior in children.

When do children learn the concept of lying?

You can start to hear the first sentences of children to be evaluated in the concept of lie at the age of 3 years. However, these lies are not very similar to the established lies as we know them. These are mostly due to their inability to distinguish between fantasy and reality. Between the ages of 3-6, you can often encounter such conversations. In other words, the child can make the first speeches that can be called lies during this period.

Why do children lie?

In fact, the reason for lying varies at every age. As we mentioned above, between the ages of 3-6, children tell lies because they confuse dreams with reality, or because they reflect their own dreams. However, with the age of 7, especially between the ages of 10-11, he can distinguish between right and wrong, realizes that lying is a bad thing, and the reasons for lying begin to change shape. During this time, children become familiar with the concept of lying just like adults.

There are several different causes of lying behavior in children. Let’s talk about them.

Imaginary lies

You can often hear these lies, especially from preschool children. Children at this age are often influenced by the cartoons they watch, the characters in the books their mothers read, toys, and sometimes even songs, and they begin to daydream. Since they have not yet succeeded in distinguishing between reality and fantasy, they describe these events as if they were real and lived.

However, in such lies, the child has no intention of deceiving or deceiving. But if the child begins to live in these fanciful lies, an investigation is needed.

Self defense lies

He may lie to protect himself if you have bullied his child for some reason, doing something he shouldn’t have done, or if he thinks he’ll get an overreaction from you, or if he’s getting punished frequently. The child who lies in this way is seriously afraid of the reaction from their parents.

Lies for attention

When the concepts of child and lie come together, the most common reason can be to attract attention. If the child realizes that he is not loved or paid attention by his family or friends, he may tell some lies to get attention. For example, saying that he is sick even though he is not, and showing his friends as if he has things that he does not have are among such lies. Especially the lies he tells to his friends reflect his effort to show himself as a different person and show that he wants to place himself.

Examples of lies

In such lies, the child usually takes his mother, father or a relative he has observed as an example. For example, if he realizes that he is making an excuse not to go to work, he may also come up with an excuse not to go to school. If you say that you have a job instead of going to the park with him and take care of a job that is not very essential, your child may also tell you such social lies.

pathological lies

They are lies that have no purpose and are often associated with some disturbing emotion. For example, if the child does not like his uncle very much for some reason, he may lie when someone asks, “I don’t have an uncle” or “He is dead”. The underlying reason is usually to avoid an unpleasant reality.

Why does lying become a habit in children?

If the child still continues to lie even though he or she is old enough to distinguish between lies and truth, we can say that this has become a habit. If the child has started to lie frequently, habitually, now his purpose has become purely to protect his own interests. Being dissatisfied with the life he lives and trying to show himself as a different person triggers the habit of lying in children. When such a situation is noticed, the child must be approached from a pedagogical point of view. Because problems up to personality disorder may start to come into question.

How to treat a lying child? How to prevent a child from lying?

  • Stop being a perfectionist. If your child does not meet your expectations, they may resort to lies. That’s why you should expect as much of him as he can and explain that his failures have nothing to do with your love for him.
  • Don’t be oppressive or threatening. If you take such an attitude, the child may lie to avoid punishment or reaction after a wrongdoing. For example, “If you’re late on your way back from school, I’ll screw you over!” Using a sentence like “I am very happy when you get home from school on time” instead of a sentence like “I am very happy when you get home from school” will prevent your child from lying in fear of your reaction.
  • Never punish. There are parents who think about what punishment should be given to a child who lies. Punishment triggers lying behavior out of fear. That’s why you shouldn’t use punishment as a solution.
  • Take care of your child. Ask how your day was going and what your needs are. Try to meet your needs as best as you can. Even playing games or doing any activity together for an hour in the evening will prevent your child from lying to get attention.
  • Let him gain self-confidence. Children who are not self-confident and do not like their current situation may lie to their friends especially to make themselves look different from what they are. That’s why it’s important to make sure your child is at peace with himself.
  • Don’t be a partner in his lies. For example, if his father doesn’t allow him to eat ice cream, you buy him ice cream and say, “Don’t tell your dad!” If you say so, this attitude may make your child think that lying is a normal thing.
  • Don’t use violence. If you catch your child a lie, violence will never be the solution, it will only cause him to lie more. Develops a tendency to lie constantly to reassure himself.
  • Show your confidence in him. After seeing him lie once, he kept saying “You’re lying!” for his actions to her. This may cause your child to think that he is not trusted and to lie more.
  • Realize that your child has something special too. If he’s been on the toilet for a long time, don’t ask why. Don’t make constant raids if his room’s door is closed. So don’t bother him by constantly asking questions.
  • Don’t blame him in every negative situation. If an item is dropped, a glass is broken, water is spilled on the floor, you can try to solve the problem together rather than blaming it on him.
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