I’ll admit when your child first starts fibbing it can be off-putting; however, don’t be alarmed, it’s completely normal! Children may lie for many reasons including for attention, for laughs, or even for no reason at all. Below are some tips for addressing lying with your child.
Tip 1: Bring focus to positive aspects.
Explaining a difficult concept, like lying, to a toddler can be challenging as they still have very concrete thinking. Rather than using phrases such as “lying is bad” focus on honesty as it is an easier concept to explain and understand. I’m a huge fan of positive parenting so I tend to recommend calling out children on their good behavior
Tip 2: Use your words wisely.
In my professional opinion, positive reinforcement goes a long way. Try to acknowledge and take the time to appreciate when your child is being truthful. I promise it will pay off in the long run!
Tip 3: Use your resources.
Using resources available to you can be a great way to get the conversation started. In my house, we love books so I bought a few honesty-themed stories and have used them as a transition into the topic.
Also, it’s important to make sure other individuals in your child’s environment are on board with your style and approach to the topic of lying. This can include but is not limited to, nannies, teachers, and babysitters.
Tip 4: Keep your cool.
Lying can certainly be frustrating but it happens from time to time and in no way means your child is bad or has ill intentions. Frequent overreactions, badgering, or cornering kids allows for situations to escalate. And lastly, just because your child has started lying does not mean you are a bad parent!