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Sooner or later all children lie, either to avoid being punished, not to upset their parents or to show off to others. Lying can be considered normal and is part of the child's development as long as it is not a behavior that is constantly repeated.
When my middle son is very good in class, the teacher puts a rubber band in his hand or draws a smiley face. Yesterday he left without gomet and ran to explain to me, before I asked him anything, that he was very sad because he had detached and lost it. Minutes later his teacher came to tell me that he had been very unruly in class. My anger was enormous, not so much because of the bad behavior but because of the lie concocted by a 4-year-old boy to get out of the jam.
What can parents do to explain to their children, especially when they are still young, that they should not lie? At certain ages children do not know the consequences of lies, being honest is part of learning in childhood, but how to teach them?
- Dialogue: talking with the child is essential. If you are angry at the lie, as I was, wait for a relaxed moment to speak calmly. We must explain to children that telling lies is not good or honest, it does not speak well of us and also has consequences. We can use stories about lies like Pinocchio, Peter and the Wolf or the Emperor's New Clothes to help them understand it better.
- Set an example: how can we ask a child for sincerity if we are not sincere. If they listen to us, for example, giving an uncertain excuse for not going on a date, how morally will we ask them later not to lie.
- Positive reinforcement: when they are sincere and confront their actions, for example, breaking a toy or having misbehaved with a friend, we have to praise the act of sincerity even if we later reprimand them for what they have done wrong. If we just scold or punish them but don't praise them for being sincere, next time they won't tell us the truth.
- Consequences: If the child lies to get something, we must not give up and give him the prize or the promise because they have to learn that bad acts have consequences.
- EmpathyWe can help them understand how they would feel if they lie to them and cheat with practical examples.
You can read more articles similar to The first lies of a child, what to do?, in the category of Conduct on site.