Honesty is the best policy!! This phrase is taught to all of us from our kindergarten age and we learn it by heart by the time we grow. By learning we mean, it’s in our mind but not in our behaviour. Even though, most of us are not always honest, but when we catch our child telling a lie, we feel bad and insist that truth is all we want. That’s really unreasonable, isn’t it??
The first thing that we need to do is to practice honesty, as everything else, ourselves so as to make it easier for our child to see and follow us. We must set examples for our children whether its manners, or positive qualities, before we expect anything from them. Psychologists see two major reasons why children lie at a young age-
First, they are scared of you or your punishment.
Second, they do not want to forgo the thing for which they are lying. Observing the two reasons the best solution can be, not to be too strict with them.
Even when you know that your child is lying, tell him politely, that his version seems like a story to you and that you feel that he is not telling you the truth. This attitude of yours gives him the courage to speak the truth. Tell your child that it is not very difficult to be honest and one lie will require him to lie over and over again, which he might not be able to handle. Don’t pretend when you already know the truth. Like if you know that your child has not finished his food and it is still lying in his room, don’t ask him if he has finished it or not. It gives him more space to lie and say he has finished it. Instead ask him to show his plate to you, if he has finished his food.
This will lessen the scope of telling a lie as he knows, you want the proof. Don’t be too strict if you find him speaking a white lie. Understand the reason why he is lying to you and help him speak the truth. Tell him many children lie to save themselves but when they ultimately tell the truth, their parents are always on their side to help them come out of the trouble. Appreciate your child whenever he speaks the truth. Tell him that you are really impressed with his honesty and that he will be rewarded for it. This will encourage him to be honest.
Don’t teach him to pretend, as that also accounts for being dishonest. For example, if someone has got a gift for him, which he doesn’t like, don’t tell him to say it is good. Instead of this, tell him to be humble enough to politely thank the person for his effort of getting him the gift. This will make that person happy and your child will also not be forced to display false emotions. Make the environment at home easy and comfortable enough for your child to live. If he will be under fear of something, he will develop the habit of lying. Make things easy for him. Go in for confrontations, at times, if it is actually needed. You need to be firm and take a stand, sometimes, for the benefit of your child. Don’t hesitate to do it, if required. Parents are the best guide to their children.