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Lying Children

Teaching children morals and values is one of the toughest elements of parenting. When children lie to their parents, it feels like a major breech of trust. However, the important thing is to keep the focus on the child.
Dealing with Children lying
Parents should try not to be too worried or anxious about their child's lying. This behavior is not unusual for children. Sometimes children lie to get out of trouble, and it often works. Generally, lying is not the problem; it is a symptom of an underlying problem.

You need to move away from the idea of 'catching' their child in a lie. It is best if you can focus on the issues making the child lie instead of focusing on the lying part. Try to analyze the situation and figure out what is really bothering him/ her. If a child has only recently started lying, parents should consider if there have been any recent changes in the child's routine, school life, friends or a new sibling. Often lying is a reaction to stress or changes that children have a difficult time handling. Children often respond to stresses by seeking attention through 'acting out.' Children will seek any kind of attention when they feel needy. If parents think that this may be the problem, they should try making arrangements to spend special time alone with the child.

Suggested Solutions
A recommended approach to addressing your child's lying is to sit down and talk with the child, with no distractions. All other important things can wait, after all it is the one thing that you need to deal with now that shall inculcate the values even further, for a lifetime. Besides discussing the lying part, try to uncover what may be causing any anxiety. The child would not really know what's troubling him and it's quite possible that he/she might not be able to connect with this. Most children who are known to be dreamers have this habit of connecting the wrong incidents together. They make up their own stories and what may at the outset sound like a great imaginative tale, can actually make him/ her, an exponent in the art of lying.

Help the child figure out what is stressful to him or her, and offer constructive ways of dealing with it. Try to help the child come up with alternatives to lying. When talking with your child, address the difference between make-believe and reality--lying and telling the truth. Stress to your child the importance of honesty at home and in the community.

Create a situation in your home that encourages your children to tell the truth. Whether you indulge the Almighty in this act or even an older member, it's important that children speak the truth all the time. Generally the fear of being punished can make the child speak the truth always, but it's also imperative that you don't use these tactics all the time, as children are quick in finding loop holes. Instead of punishing them for mistakes, praise them when they tell you something difficult. The key to changing a child's behavior is giving attention only for positive behavior. Then, reinforce the idea that they can tell you anything and you will always love them.

If your child's behavior continues for several more weeks, you may want to discuss the situation with their pediatrician. It is best to get some sound medical advise while ensuring that you are the best parent for your child!
By Prerna Salla
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