5 things we must know about children who lie,
How to deal with lying.
- Lying may begin at the age of 2 and generally peaks at about 12
- Some lying may be healthy imagination and others may be to avoid hurting themselves or others.
- Most lies are about avoiding trouble or punishment, or to look better than others.
- Some kids tell lies just to see what would happen if…. or just for the fun of it “how will they react?”
- Those who tell lies many times have great cognitive skills.
How do you deal with this? First understand your own shock that will take place the first time your child does not tell you the truth. You will be shocked! Then are they old enough to understand what they are doing? Help them to understand the value of telling the truth and suggest that you believe they may know more than they are telling you about. If they come clean, thank them and praise them for doing so.
Ask questions that does not give them the opportunity to deny what has happened. If your child spilled the milk do not ask “if they spilled it?” , instead ask them “why it happened”. In any case, make sure they know that you disapprove of lying and that it is the wrong way of handling a situation. Help them to appreciate that trust is at the heart of the matter and that you expect them to tell you the truth.
Most important remember that our children hear and see everything we do and say. Children cannot tell the difference between a small and big lie, it is all the same to them. The more they see and hear lying taking place the more they believe that it is normal behavior. So really – raising honest kids starts with each of us!
All of us know that honesty is one of the qualities that we look for in our friends, work associates and close relationships. In fact it is a factor that is measured in those that run for political office and yet I cannot imagine anyone that I know that has not at some time not told the truth about something or withheld information that would have completed the story.
Why do we choose not to tell the truth? Generally it is to make ourselves look better than we are, to stay out of trouble, or to get what we want. For us adults we can look back at others or maybe even ourselves and see an example of a lie that has destroyed a relationship or trust.
With children they may lie because of fear their parents will be angry with them, that their friends may make fun of them, or to make others think of them in a special way (typically as cool, smart, rich). But when we turn it around and ask ourselves how we would feel if a friend did not tell us the truth, we all know that we would question them and their trustworthiness.
It is a funny thing how willing we are to see others telling lies as somewhat different than ourselves. Learning to take responsibility for our actions and to tell the truth is the Balanced Life Skill Way.
Each month we will discuss a life skill with all of our students. This month the word is Honesty. This word will be defined in the following ways for our students.
Young students: Honesty: “I show and tell the truth!”
Older students: Honesty means: Being straightforward and truthful in words and actions.
Each age group has a worksheet that parents can use to continue the discussion at home with their children, and one for adults to allow them to think more deeply about the skill and how it applies to them. Would you like to receive the worksheet? Stop by our studio at 133 Gibralter Avenue in Annapolis, MD and tell us the age of your child. We will give you a worksheet and invite you to watch Mr. Joe discuss the word with the students in class. You can also follow our discussions here on this website.
If you would like to become a member of Balanced Life Skills, come TRY CLASSES FOR FREE. We are not your typical martial arts school, in fact we are an education center, working with our students on physical skills along with character. We are building confidence in each child. Balanced Life Skills takes part in community service and encourages each student to do the same. You are welcomed to come in and talk to the parents that are here and watch the class for the age group you are interested in.
Have you ever had a friend or someone you knew that very seldom came through on the promises they made. They say they will call you, or go out with you or take care of your kids and they don’t. It does not take very long before you begin to lose faith in them. You recognize that they may not be reliable, accountable or dependable. You just may not trust them.
The same thing happens to us when we make and break self – promises. What if I promised myself that I was going to work out in the morning. Or I am going to be sure to eat breakfast every morning. Or any number of other promises we may make to ourselves. If we do not keep them, it won’t belong before we won’t trust ourselves. We may begin questioning if we are responsible. Our self esteem will suffer.
Make and keep a small commitment to your self and then as you built up your trust in your self the commitments you make can get larger and more difficult. Being honest with yourself, keeping your word to yourself on small and big things will create in you the person you want to be, Responsible (Reliable, Accountable, Dependable)
Every relationship, interaction and communication should begin and end with respect. Respect is about treating others as we would have them treat us in the same situation. It’s reflected in the way we speak and act, the way we treat our family, friends, environment and community, and the way we regard the rights, ideas and property of others. It’s also the way we treat ourselves; since when we can see and celebrate our own strengths and values, it is easier to respect the value in others.
Respect is the cornerstone of moral behavior. It tells us that everybody has the right to be treated with respect, courtesy, and consideration. Yet in a survey done by the NY Times, 93% of responding adults believed that parents have failed to teach children honesty, respect, and responsibility. Most would agree that there is a crisis of disrespect in the world today, and while there is no one factor that is responsible for this, there are a few that have contributed greatly to situation. What they are and what we can do about will be in later posts.
The end of the month has come and so we are completing our discussion with our students on honesty. One of the concepts we spoke about was the practice of being “two faced”. Most of our 7/8 year olds had not heard that term before and did not really understand the practice of saying or being one thing to one person and something different with another.
The older students were very aware of this happening within their peer groups and many have been affected by this personally. It is such a lesson for us young or older. Honesty with our selves and being who we are with everyone is so important to our health and welfare.
Being a person that others can trust to be who we are to everyone is a key ingredient to being a good friend. It is also the way that we can keep ourselves liking ourselves, which is a boost to our self esteem and confidence. Our true friends and supporters (like mom and dad) will honor our opinions and decisions, and be kind to us, treating us in a way that is true to who we are. Our responsibility is to be who we are to everyone, and not one thing to one person and another to others.