Why do people lie to their children

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Learn to understand lies

On the one hand, lying is a big mistake, on the other hand, children experience daily how adults resort to white lies. You must first learn that there is a huge difference between lying to deceive someone and lying so as not to hurt another.

To be able to tell the truth and be able to tell is a beautiful thing. Staying with the truth out of fear and obedience is different from trusting one another. Those who trust don't have to lie.

Why do children lie?

Children lie for a number of reasons:

Up to school age, children usually don't take the truth very seriously. You have an unrestrained imagination and are not yet very good at distinguishing between imagination and reality. They make up stories or exaggerate excessively.

Even if children at this age have good memories, occasional gaps in memory appear. They pay attention to the things that seem meaningful to them. Other events can be lost.

Under certain circumstances the chronological order of events is confused, stories and memories are embellished according to one's own wishes and fantasies. The children are not aware that the truth was completely different.

This is often misunderstood as lying by adults. However, the children firmly believe that what they are telling is true.

The desire for recognition drives many children to fool around. Smaller children in particular do not feel what is untrustworthy and verifiable.

"I have my own pony." This statement makes it interesting at the moment, the other children will soon track him down. And then there are the difficulties. Once the child is exposed as a liar or a show-off, the other children are no longer as quick to believe what they are saying.

If the child lies to stand out, their self-esteem is probably not far off. Try to strengthen this. Surely there are things your child is particularly good at? Promote this. Then there is no need to fantasize about skills.

Children sometimes do things that are wrong. You just take a coin. Or things break. They don't want to take responsibility for it and lie for fear of punishment. And so they just say it wasn't them.

Often they assess the consequences of their actions much more severely than they really are. And so they allow themselves to be led into further lies.

Of course, parents find it uncomfortable when their children lie to them. But neither should one overestimate it. Because often children don't know any other way out than to keep lying. Especially when severe punishments are imminent.

If a child can never admit a mistake and blame others as often as possible, parents should ask whether they are reacting too severely. Everyone makes a mistake. A child who is afraid of harsh punishments is more likely to lie than a child who feels accepted and understood. For fear of being caught, the child will learn to cheat even better.

Children also lie because they are overwhelmed. The school grades are the best example. Did you not get the good grade your parents wanted - what could be more natural than to turn a 5 into a 3? Of course, the dizziness comes to light at the latest at the next teacher-parent discussion.

You can well imagine the pressure these children get under. Not only do they necessarily have to compensate for the bad grade with better grades so that their lie doesn't come to light. The lie also hangs over them like a sword of Damocles when the next parenting day is due.

Is it really worth it? Isn't it much better to create a climate in which children can tell the truth, no matter how uncomfortable it is?

White lies "out of politeness are not only used among children. Every day children experience parents who cheat. Sometimes an unpleasant invitation" due to illness "is canceled. Why should the child behave differently?

Children are only gradually learning that the truth is not always appropriate. Because cheating is often used to spare others embarrassment and shame. "But you have a big belly!" Such remarks are seldom appropriate.

Children have yet to learn that honesty and politeness don't always match. And that you don't always have to immediately say what you think about the other person. Parents can easily explain this. Because without fraud out of courtesy it does not work.

What should I do if my child is lying?

  • Parents serve as role models. Think about what your own behavior is when it comes to lying.
  • If your child lied, think about how they can deal with a similar situation next time without lying.
  • Don't threaten harsh penalties. If lying has consequences, explain them.
  • Don't ask for confessions of guilt. The child feels small and worthless. It doesn't want to admit its mistake and save face. If your child persistently denies, let us tell you what could happen if the matter were exposed. This will also tell you why the child is lying. They often fear disproportionately harsh consequences.
  • Don't set a trap for your child. It is better to address the topic directly.
  • If your child has gotten themselves into a confused situation by lying, offer them to get rid of the matter together. So it feels that one gets further with the truth than with lies.
  • If you catch your child lying, do not under any circumstances make this clear to other children. Because it has enough to fight with its embarrassment. It doesn't have to be exposed in front of others. Talk to him alone. Try to find out why it was telling the untruth.
  • Encourage your child to tell the truth. Visibly enjoy it when it tells the truth. "Thank you for telling me the truth." This is how you reward your child.
  • Place your trust in your child. Younger children, in particular, are often cheated out of pure wishful thinking and fantasy.
  • Your child needs to know that you will always stand by them, even if they lied. Give him the assurance that you love him.
  • The best prerequisites for raising an "honest" child create trusting relationships within the family.
  • Don't lie to your child. If you don't want to answer an embarrassing question, say so openly and honestly. If you want to protect your child from a painful truth, strive for openness.

If your child keeps lying, try to get to the bottom of it. Don't be afraid to seek advice and help.

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Parents letters

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