Lies are a part of childhood and child development. Children, hint…hint age 4ish, aren’t really being malicious when they lie, they’re trying out a newly discovered trick so they can find out what happens when they don’t tell the truth.
Does the above information mean you should “show” them what happens when they lie!!? Didn’t your parents say that to you, “Oh, I’ll show you what happens!” Maybe it was just my parents?
No need to “show” them. And no need to get angry and punish. Does that mean I’m saying you shouldn’t do anything about lying? Oh, heavens no.
What you “do” about lying will determine whether learning or rebellion occurs.
Rebellion in a four yr. old? Yes, it’s true, even a four yr. old can rebel. Rebellion in a child that young looks like, and feels like, a power struggle.
Rebellion in a four yr. old can also manifest as a power hungry child looking to show you, “Oh, yes I can lie, watch me!” (How to deal with a power hungry child will be posted soon!)
So how do I recommend helping your child, and dealing with lying? I suggest a two-pronged approach.
Step #1: Listen, and then acknowledge that what your child is saying is a lie. However, the best way to do that, and avoid a power struggle, is not to use the word lie. Try saying instead, “Wow, that’s a whopper of a story, now please tell me what really happened.”
Step #2: Move on to the questions. To find out which questions to ask, check out this blog post. http://ow.ly/mUNhN
I hope these parenting tips helped.