Like every other parent, you probably think your child is special too. Not to say they are not, but there are certain things that are natural of a child. Habits, as lying or whining and being difficult, will be traits you will find in your child, varying in degrees according to the age or growth stage of your child. Do not be surprised or alarmed if you find out your dear child has been deceiving you far more frequently than you would ever think.
If you observe your baby’s behavior, even at an infant stage, you will find that deception is a constant part of their daily routine. Little babies will do all in their power to earn the undivided attention of their parent, that is what all the seemingly uncalled-for wailing is about. During the toddler stages, your child can be observed to do things such as fake crying, pretending that they had eaten their food, or that they are injured or straight out lie about not eating the candy.
If There Are Rules, There Will Be Deception
So long as there are rules for your kid to follow, there will be moments of deception. This is because as soon as your child is old enough to understand and abide by the rules, they will break the rules at some points. Quite frequently sometimes, and to keep themselves from getting in trouble, they may tell lies. This may be as early as to three years. At this point it easy to know when they are lying. When the hit 5, they might be able to lie to you successfully. This information is to establish that lying is a normal part of growing up and although you must discourage the habit, you shouldn’t be too worried about it at that stage.
You Might Be Teaching Your Kid To Lie
The environment that your child spends time in, such as the home, may determine how much they lie. Your child may lie a lot and unnecessarily because they think it is okay and no trouble at all to lie. As parents, we find that we do lie to our kids sometimes or make them lie on our behalf. An example is when the child asks difficult questions that we feel the answer will be inappropriate or damaging to them and when we ask them to tell the person on the phone that we are busy when we are not. The former is understandable, given that the child discovers that answer as they grow older and more suited to. The latter might send to your child the picture that it is okay to lie.
It will be wise to avoid lying to your child or making them lie on your behalf unless it is absolutely necessary.
Considering the fact that it is highly likely to be impossible to keep your child from lying, you may be able to avoid creating situations where they would have to lie to keep them from developing a habit of lying which is beyond what is normal.
Factors that may influence or encourage your child’s lying habits include a high IQ, age, and an outgoing personality. A controlling environment may also compel them to lie more frequently. Possessing these traits doesn’t automatically mean that your child will lie or lies a lot, it only means that they are more likely to get away with lying or might be more inclined to.
The Teenage Years
Deceptive behavior, not limited to lying, will be seen to increase during the stages of growth where the child begins to assert their independence. This is typical of teenagers. Teen-hood is a critical phase in your child’ development when they discover for themselves the things they like – or the things they think they like. What your teenage child would want might not always tally with what you would approve of. For this reason, teenagers will often take to deception. What makes it more difficult for the parent at this stage is that teenagers tend to lose sight of the significance of the consequences of their action in the pursuit of certain rewards or pleasure, and tend to be more rash, careless and indifferent to punishment.
The issue parents usually face is – how do they create an environment that will not require their child adopt lying as a way to get by without forfeiting the limits and mechanisms of control such as strict rules and punishment.
Here Is Something You Can Do Different:
1. Change Your Reaction
If you are an extremely strict parent who is generous with punishment and verbal retaliating, it might serve you to know that this method is often counter-productive. It drives your child to engage in more deceptive behavior to avoid your reaction upon discovery of their actions or intended actions. You might be worsening the situation in your attempt to solve it.
If you find out that your child has been deceptive, remain calm and talk to them and try not to get upset or have an angry outburst. Not solely about the fact that they lied, but about the reason for their deception. Try to look at the situation from their point of view and what prompted the need to lie. With that info in mind, tell them why you hold a different view if you do. Make sure to remain calm and reasonable. It will help if your kid has some clarity as to why you hold certain principles. Remind them that you will always be on the same team and reassure them that the rules you set are only intended for their benefit.
If you merely focus on your child’s use of deception, you will fail to address the cause behind their deception. In that case, it is highly likely that the action will be repeated because the causing factor is still present.
2. Encourage Dialogue
Encourage dialogue with your child. They should be comfortable to talk to you about things think they are not sure you will approve of. To do this, you must be open and flexible with your child. Allow them to feel that you trust them and respect their opinion, bearing in mind that you have a duty as a parent and an older person, to provide guidance and regulation for their own benefit.
If you are consistent with this method, the chances are very high that your child’s deceptiveness will lessen greatly, and in addition, you will have a great relationship with them.
3. Compulsive Liars And Sociopaths
If this method fails to make any difference and your child continues to lie constantly whether there is a need or not, you might want to get professional help. Your kid might be a compulsive/pathological liar or a sociopath. They can be extremely difficult to deal with. For compulsive liars and sociopaths, speaking the truth is uncomfortable and unnatural. Lying is second nature and just feels right. The good part of it is that a compulsive liar can be helped. It is a long and painstaking process that will require the involvement of an expert but it is not as difficult as having to live with a compulsive liar forever.
On the other hand, sociopaths are incurable and any attempts to help them will bounce off. You will have to brace up for that one.
The chances are that you and your child are simply going through what every other parent is going through with their child. It will pass with time, effort and consistency.