Girls always lie
Why do children lie?
Children lie when they feel they can't help it. By the age of elementary school at the latest, however, they are actually able to assess the "appropriateness" of smaller lies.
The family atmosphere is an essential factor that influences the child in terms of openness and honesty. Of course, the entire environment, including school and friends, also has an influence on the child in this regard.
Basically, kids tend to lie when they feel cornered. Because actually they want to be honest. The truth is important to the child. And yet, many kids can't help but lie straight “in the face” of other kids and adults.
So it doesn't matter if you repeatedly “catch” your child for not telling the truth. However, the child's behavior can still be directed even if he has already got used to telling untruths from time to time. It is helpful to know about the various backgrounds and occasions that lead kids to lie.
The view of school psychology
Strictly speaking, according to developmental and learning psychological findings, lying is part of social intelligence. This behavior is not innate, it is learned. Because kids didn't understand the difference between a white lie and a “real” lie until about the end of elementary school, for them there is no difference between the lies that give them an advantage and those that help not to hurt others .
School psychology also assumes that children are mostly in more or less difficult emergency situations that cause them to lie. Basically, children find it uncomfortable not to tell the truth because there are strong fears associated with it.
School psychologists therefore recommend setting up a trustworthy and honest example. In this way, the child learns that they can talk about their problems instead of covering them up with lies.
Situations in which kids lie
Most kids deliberately lie. You know the line between truth and falsehood. As a rule, this is knowingly violated. The reasons for this can be of various kinds.
Overloading is an occasion for kids to lie. If they cannot cope with real life, they create an illusory world in which it is very different from the reality. Overstrained kids then claim to have already completed their tasks in order to use the fraudulent free time to dream. Everyday life seems uncomfortably exhausting or impossible to cope with. This is why these children also tend to use lies to save themselves from difficult situations. You do not want to become the target of quarrels or other people's conflicts. Because life itself is exhausting enough for them.
Sometimes kids lie because they don't want to face the consequences of their actions. More precisely, they are simply afraid of being punished. In the case of small mishaps or violations, it can therefore quickly happen that the truth is twisted. In doing so, they are unaware that their lies are quite easy for adults to see through. It becomes bad for the child itself when it becomes more and more entangled in its lies and at some point can no longer find a way into honesty.
On the other hand, a child may lie to gain recognition. Not infrequently, dishonest kids have a badly damaged self-confidence that does not allow them to stand by themselves and the facts. Children who live in poverty are affected quite often. They try to cover up the truth so as not to fall out of favor with the other kids. Because they are ashamed, they begin to lie. The unemployed father suddenly becomes a top lawyer and a little later there is even a Porsche in the garage of the home villa that actually doesn't exist, which of course doesn't actually exist either. In this way, kids often try desperately to gain recognition from their peers.
The classic white lie is also a common phenomenon among children. It usually does not weigh so heavily because the untruth is told out of sheer politeness. For example, the daughter does not want to disappoint her mother by telling her that she is ashamed of her overweight. When confronted directly with this question, the daughter is likely to distract with another topic of conversation or claim that she is not ashamed at all. Such polite lies are usually transparent because the child's body language and facial expressions signal something completely different from what they would like one to believe.
The same is true of white lies that aim to protect the child's fellow human beings. The child may not want to shame you, so they will fool you rather than tell you the truth. One example is bad grades on class exams.
Here's how you can help
If a child lies because they are afraid of punishment, speak to them openly. Show understanding of their behavior and explain that you understand why the child lied. It helps react differently than the child expects when the truth emerges. In this way, negative conditioning can be "deleted". The child then understands that they need not be afraid to tell the truth.
If possible, find a compromise that is okay for the child and still effective as a parenting measure. If a punishment cannot be avoided at all, stick to the consequences that are logical as a logical consequence of the undesired behavior. These consequences should also serve to prevent the child from lying in the first place. For example, have the note book show you every day if the child has previously mistakenly claimed that there was no entry in the note book due to forgetfulness, shame, and fear.
Kids who lie to show off need a boost to their self-confidence. Successful experiences and words of praise are balm for the soul of a child whose self-worth is broken. Enable him to be very good or even better than others at one thing by giving him enough time and financial resources to pursue a hobby of his choice. A sense of achievement is particularly important for primary school children. If the child is unsuccessful in school, then they not only need tutoring, but also positive experiences in and outside of school. Once the child has become more self-confident, it is no longer dependent on telling false stories and will avoid this behavior on its own initiative.
As for the white lies, the situation is very different. It's okay to lie if you don't want to hurt someone. However, the child should also feel that they should now and then freely express their honest opinion, because this is also part of a good friendship. In any case, don't scold the child if you see through their white lies. Because the white lie is also part of the repertoire of social customs among adults. The child will again and again experience how adults save each other from being sad by being a little dizzy. If the child is punished for such behavior, it is difficult for the child to understand the punishment or the reprimand.
Kids who lie because they are overwhelmed need a lot of attention. Clarify with the child why they are not doing their chores and why they are taking refuge in their dream world. Ask if he is really doing well or if he needs more attention. It may also need help. Introverted kids in particular need a lot of time for themselves. If they are forced to be with other kids all the time, they are imbalanced and try to escape from it. Find out whether your child simply needs more time for themselves and, if necessary, make arrangements with them so that the necessary tasks can still be completed. Give your child regular breaks while they are doing their homework so that they are not overwhelmed. If you take these points into account, the child should show you more honesty again and get on better with his or her life.
Finally, we devote ourselves to the children who lie to save another person from shame or suffering. Unlike the classic white lie, these kids have to understand that not everyone can be perfect. It's okay to have weaknesses or to run into criticism every now and then. The child should understand that it is not their job to protect you from such experiences.
Photo: khorzhevska / bigstockphoto.com
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