As parents, it’s our job to teach our kids. We teach them about taking care of themselves, how to be good people, how to clean up, how to tie their shoelaces and countless other lessons.
Sometimes it’s as simple as them watching what we do. Other times it’s a little harder with things such as Talking to Your Kids About Lying . Lying is a big one for me. We’ve always told our kids to tell us the truth, no matter what. Yes they may get in trouble or they might be worried because they have done something they are not supposed to, but it’s important.
And I practice what I preach, I don’t lie to my kids either. I don’t tell them that this medicine tastes good, when it doesn’t. I don’t say this won’t hurt if it’s going to hurt a little. I don’t pretend that something will be quick when it’s going to take a long time. I tell them in a gentle and kind way, but I always tell them the truth, even when sometimes it would be easier to tell a white lie.
Instilling the importance of honesty in kids at an early age will allow them to be able to deal with and resolve situations with out having to fib, it’ll foster relationships built on trust and respect and will bring your family closer. (Psychology Today)
That being said, how do we actually implement and teach our kids not to lie, especially when they are young and don’t completely understand?
1. Lead By Example
If you don’t want your kids to lie, then don’t lie to them. Even though it’s not easy, we are the biggest influences in our children’s lives and they are going to follow our examples
2. Read Your Kids Books About Honesty
Books are big in our house, so when I see books that teach lessons I will often pick them up as a fun and interesting way to incorporate why they shouldn’t lie within an activity they really enjoy. Here are a list of books that teach your kids why it’s important to be honest.
3. Avoid Confrontational Statements
I know I’ve been guilty of this many times. Don’t accuse your child because when you do, it puts them on the defensive and the instinct is to lie. Instead, of saying, “Did you eat that popsicle right before dinner?” you can say, “You know you are not supposed to eat sweets before dinner.” This makes it easier for them to respond instead of quickly saying NO, whether that is the truth or not.
4. Show Their Favourite Characters Learning About Lying
And lets not forget television. I know my kids love their shows and if we can find episodes that can teach lessons while they watch, even better! Some great episodes that can be found on Netflix are Curious George: Truth About George Burger, Clifford: The Kibble Crook and Super Why: Pinocchio.
Today’s Parent also has a great age-by-age guide to help you navigate lying at the different stages of childhood.
What are some ways that you have talked to your kids about lying that you have found to be effective?
9 thoughts on “Talking to Your Kids About Lying”
It is so interesting to read this post today because just this weekend on my run, I was listening to a TED Talk Podcast about “Why We Lie”. http://www.npr.org/programs/ted-radio-hour/311863205/why-we-lie It’s very interesting to listen to the various parts of our lives that influence lying. I definitely agree that as parents, it’s very important to set an example for your kids. Great tips on a very important topic!
Great article. Definately lead by example. Liars are the worst sort of people. Your suggestion of saying, “Now, you know you’re not supposed to …” is so good.
Leading by example is the best advice you can give. Children observe us every minute, even when we think they aren’t. You’ll be surprised (once they are grown) to discover what they remember, assuming they share that with you. Shared this!
Great tips!! I might have told a teeny white lie or two to my two yea told (we have no more candy) but you’re right! Leading by example is so key 🙂
Absolutely, leading by example is so crucial! Our littles learn by what we do, not so much by what we say. I also have always told my kiddos the same thing that my dad told me: if you lie to me once, I’ll always have to wonder if you’re lying to me every time you tell me something. About lying, don’t even start.
Such a helpful post – I love the idea of integrating books and stories with life lessons. You should start a children’s book series – think all you reader’s would love them!
I’m in agreement with everyone else, that leading by example is the best way to go. I’m now a grandmother, and my daughter has a Veggie Tales video about lying that my 2 1/2 y.o. granddaughter watches now.
Great points! It is so important to provide a good example for our kids — they learn by watching us!
In addition to your wonderful tips we encourage telling the truth and promising that the child will not be in trouble with whatever he is trying to hide. We do this in hopes that when he is older, he will come to us with the truth rather than fearing us.