'Honesty is the best policy', a saying that’s been around since time immemorial, is somewhat ironic in the context of our lives today. As adults, we bend this idiom to suit ourselves, dealing with ‘convenient’ versions of the truth, and even white lies all the time. However, when our children lie to us, we take it as a personal affront—a reflection of our own parenting abilities. Sometimes it is important for us to step back and think about why our kid may have lied to us. Have you been harsh in the past? Did she think she could cover it up? Why is he afraid to confide in you?
Here, we have a few handy tips to help you see when your kid is lying, and what to do about it.
1. Read The Emotional Undercurrent
Having observed them from the minute they were born, you're the best person to understand them. Most young kids who are lying cannot keep a straight face. With some probing and by reading the underlying emotions such as fear, anger or sadness, you may be able to tell what actually transpired
2. Know That Lying Is An Integral Part Of Growing Up
At the age of two your toddler was testing his limits to see how far he could go before you lose it. Slightly older, they're now trying to figure out how far they can lie before you find out. Odd as it may seem, this is a skill most adults possess—telling just enough truth. This doesn't mean that you must be lenient. Let the kid know that you've caught him red-handed, and gently ask him why he felt the need to lie.
3. Render Stories About Honesty
Our story books are teeming with stories about honesty. From the Panchatantra to the Jataka Tales and Akbar-Birbal stories, there's a story about truth somewhere in there. Make these tales a part of the bedtime routine. Be it a story of how someone got into trouble because of lying, or one on honesty proving to be the best route to take, the stories are sure to leave an impression on young minds.
4. Let Them Face The Music
Most young kids who lie get into some kind of trouble at their schools. Hard as it may seem, let them face the consequences of their actions. This isn't to say that you mustn't step in even when the teacher or peers are being extremely severe but discuss beforehand with the teacher that you want them to face the consequences of lying, up to a point. There really is no teacher like real life.
5. Be A Safe Haven
This is the best way to prevent a kid from getting into the habit of lying. Let them come to you with absolutely anything. Don't judge them and accept everything they say without prejudice. Help them develop trust in you and know that they can come to you, no matter what.
Follow these tips to inculcate a sense of honesty in your child. Know that as humans, they too will stumble once in a while. The best thing you can do is to let them be and be there for them.