From the Love and Logic Institute: When Kids Lie

by Chappell on November 18, 2010

I love to pass along resources and The Love and Logic Institute Newsletter often has great tidbits for parents that can be useful, even if you are not “a love-and-logic parent.”  I think this article on how to handle your kids when they tell a lie, or you think that they told a lie, really hits the mark.

Being lied to can often push our buttons and cause us to react in unhelpful ways.  We can get stuck on the fact of the lie and miss out on what is really happening in our relationship with a child or what is actually being communicated by the lie.  Staying grounded and being honest about how the lie makes you feel, as suggested in this article, can keep you from getting stuck in a power struggle with your child and possibly lead to a much more satisfying ending.

I hope you find it helpful:

When Kids Lie [from the Love and Logic Newsletter]

Dear Insider Club Member,
There are few things that leave parents angrier, or more worried, than when their kids act “truthfulness-challenged.” The good news about lying is that kids do it. What I mean is that all youngsters experiment with bending the truth, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll end up becoming con men, criminals or politicians. That is, as long as we can help them see that honesty really is the best policy.
One way of achieving this goal is to apply the following steps:
  1. Use “I feel like you lied to me” rather than “You lied to me.”
      If your kid replies with “No, I didn’t!” this allows you to say, “I know…but I feel like you did.”
  2. Help the child see lying as an index of maturity.
      Achieve this by saying, “When I feel lied to, it makes me wonder whether you are mature enough to handle some of the privileges you enjoy around here, like television, your video games, and things like that.”
  3. In an empathetic way, let the child know that privileges will return when maturity goes up.
      “The good news is that when you can prove to me that you are more mature, I’ll know that it’s time for you to have these privileges again.”
  4. Remember that parenting isn’t like a jury trial: There’s no need to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
      Far too many parents get snowed by their manipulative kids and begin to wonder whether they are jumping to conclusions. I recommend trusting your heart and saying, “All I know is that I feel lied to, and I know that your life will be a lot happier if you learn how to avoid leaving people feeling that way.”
For more tips on responding to lying, listen to Dr. Foster Cline’s CD, Childhood Lying, Stealing and Cheating.
Thanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend.
Dr. Charles Fay
©2010 Love and Logic Institute, Inc. All copyright infringement laws apply. Permission granted for photocopy reproduction and forwarding. Please do not alter or modify contents. For more information, call the Love and Logic Institute, Inc. at 800-338-4065.

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Boulder, CO 80302 | 303-437-4158

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