How Should We Discipline A Consistently Lying Child?
A lying child is certainly a challenge and it can be very difficult to find a method of discipline that cuts out the lying altogether. In fact, many parents find that no type of discipline they use changes their childs behavior. This leads to frustration, stress, and anger on the parents part. And, the biggest question is how should parents discipline a consistently lying child?
The first part is easy. Parents need to be a good example to their children and this means being as honest as possible in all situations. Any time you do something even slightly dishonest your child will pick up on it and use it as an excuse. However, you should consider some things before you discipline your child.
Preschool children, for example, lie all the time simply because they dont truly understand the difference between telling the truth and lying. Children this age should not be punished for lying and parents should take the opportunity to teach their child the difference in the truth and a lie. Preschool age children dont know that lying is wrong and so when they are caught in a lie instead of being punished the parent should explain why telling the truth is important.
Older children i.e. school age children often lie even though at this point they know it is wrong. Kids this age lie to avoid punishment, to make themselves look better, to get something they want, and more. However, that does not make it ok to lie so parents should always punish children in this age range when they are caught lying.
But you might still be wondering how you should discipline a child who lies all the time. One answer is to make punishments for telling the truth much lighter than punishments for lying. When you do this the child will realize there is a payoff when they tell the truth and not when they lie. This in turn will influence them to begin telling the truth. Of course, you should go over the rules with your child about lying and the consequences of lying before any lies have been told. That way your child will know the rules and what will happen if he lies and what will happen if he tells the truth. Arming your child with expectations of certain outcomes for their behavior will many times influence them to tell the truth.
Another way parents can discipline their children is to determine why their kids are lying in the first place. Once this is determined then parents can find a specific solution to the lying problem instead of handing out arbitrary punishment.