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What to do if the child is lying

Today, parents often face the fact that the child is lying. This, of course, is painful and offensive. And you probably want to understand why this is happening, and how to make family relationships honest. My name is Nastya, I am 16 years old. And I also come across lies quite often. In this article, I decided to understand the reasons for lying and how to avoid it. I hope that it will be useful to you and you will note a few important points for yourself.

Human lies and their motives-let’s start with science.
Human lies are one of the most interesting and controversial phenomena in psychology. For many years, prominent scientists, and not only, have been devoting many books to the study of lies and trying to understand it. What does it represent?
A lie is a statement that does not correspond to reality. Of course, it is impossible to give one answer that would be correct, but generally speaking, this definition is appropriate. Depending on a person’s motives, a lie can be conscious or unconscious. Often people lie in order to get some kind of benefit for themselves: it can be a desire to show themselves in the best light, a desire to protect themselves, and much more.

Signs of children’s lies – how to understand that a child is lying

Lies can be recognized, and this fact has been recognized by scientists for a long time. There is even the so – called “art of recognizing lies”-profiling (I still believe in the skill of profiling, not its scientific nature, and it is not proven that the methods used in it are scientific). When a person lies, there is a deviation from their so-called “basic behavior” in nonverbal behavior. There are also verbal signs of lying. I suggest that we look at each type of lie in more detail. Let me make it clear that you can not use each of these features in isolation from each other, from the context, and without taking into account all sorts of factors that can change human behavior. Also, these signs are not absolute indicators of lies, but rather show the person’s excitement, his uncertainty, which may already indicate that the person is not telling the truth.

Verbal signs of lying:

Attempts to change the subject
A clear, ostentatious display of indifference to what is happening
Oaths, etc. in an attempt to prove their innocence
Insults, rude behavior, accusations
Lack of answers to any questions, unwillingness to answer
Repetition, clarification of the question, demand for specifics

Contradictions are clearly visible – the person tries to change the subject, although he pretends that he does not care, principle, there are too many inconsistencies in the speech of a liar. It is worth asking a couple of clarifying questions about the details, and you can immediately notice the emotions of bewilderment, fear, confusion, non-obvious questions, the liar simply does not have pre-prepared answers.
Non-verbal signs:

Fidgeting, fidgeting
Trembling voice, changes in the timbre of the voice
Coughing, sighing, snuffling
Overly active gestures, etc.
It should be noted that all these signs occur in both adults and children, but in children non-verbal signs are expressed to a greater extent, and verbal (such as, for example, insults or oaths) to a lesser extent.

Why do children lie? We understand the motives.
In order to better understand children’s lies, first of all it is necessary to identify their motives. A person doesn’t do anything “just like that”. The child can only be less clearly aware of this to himself. But still, why does the child do this?
Simply put, children can lie and not understand why they do it. I know that from my own experience. You tell a lie, you sit there and think-well, why did you do it? And it’s a shame to admit it…

Famous psychologist Paul Ekman identifies the following types of lies:

“Justified” lies are necessary under certain circumstances
Bragging and exaggeration
“White lies” – designed to defuse a tense situation or give someone pleasure.
These types of lies are great for understanding why children cheat.
Two stages in a child’s life are considered the most susceptible to deception: 3-4 years and adolescence. At this time, the child is becoming a person, they are also called “crisis” periods.

At 3-4 years old, a child lies to:

To avoid punishment and to protect themselves
To receive praise from parents or other adults, in General, the interest from others
Show your superiority over anyone
The motives of deception on the part of a teenager are:

The desire for self-affirmation, for recognition, especially from peers
Checking your own capabilities, “ice for strength”, how far you can go with impunity in deception
Trying to avoid shame, embarrassing situations, and humiliation
Protecting friends and their ” cover-up»
The motives for deception depend on the age characteristics of the person, on the child’s environment, on his relationships with parents, friends and peers. But if you want to deal with the problem of lying in your family and your child, you need to understand why they do it.

A child lies – what should parents do?
Identifying lies is usually accompanied by misunderstanding and most often anger on the part of parents. And you can be understood. But how do you do it correctly in such a situation?

What actions should not be taken:

In no case should a child be threatened with any physical violence.
It is not necessary to put pressure on pity, constantly mention parental love, etc.
Don’t ask for a promise not to repeat this in the future.
Do not panic yourself and do not intimidate the child, so that the trusting relationship between you can still be restored and preserved.
What to do if the child cheated:

First, establish the root cause of children’s lies, identify their motives – this was already discussed earlier.
Try to find out the child’s opinion about what happened by talking about it with them strictly in private – the child and the parent they trust more.
Don’t punish! Show us what happened because of the lie, tell us that you are upset.
Ask the teen how they propose to get out of the situation. And do not reject all the options offered by the child. He is soon all very ashamed and bad!
It is worth considering that in adolescence, one of the best ways out will be to consult a psychologist, so as not to risk staying with a teenager “on different shores” forever.
Oddly enough, for teenagers ,an” outsider ” adult whom they trust can really help. And this does not mean that we do not love our parents! Just talking to you can be embarrassing or scary, or there have already been cases when you scolded and severely punished… And we need help. And the psychologist is perfect for this role.
I have studied the opinions of popular psychologists on this issue, and here is the result:

Tips and recommendations of most psychologists:

Control yourself, your emotions. Don’t yell.
Always try to make contact with the child.
Don’t think about old mistakes, but focus on the specific situation now.
If a child lies for lack of freedom, the right to make decisions on their own-give him a small breath of air and leave at least some of the moral teachings to yourself.If it turns out something in establishing relationships – do not be afraid to contact specialists and ask for their qualified help. This is a very effective way to find contact with a child. And the most important thing, probably, is just talk. About everything. About successes, failures, plans and just “how I pulled Masha’s pigtail at school”. This is important for children. Truth.

My personal stories about lying
I used to lie a lot when I was a kid. I did this out of fear, because I was afraid not to meet the high expectations of my parents, who remain so to this day. I was just afraid to let them down, afraid that they would be nervous about some of my joints. She was also afraid of her mother’s emotional state. Well, that’s the kind of person she is, she takes everything very personally. There was a period in my life when I was a child, even when I was a kleptomaniac… I Don’t want to go into details, just thank my dad, who then spoke to me very clearly and clearly and explained everything. This illness, and in fact, a mental disorder, passed quite quickly. But with the habit of deceiving everything is much more difficult. I came to the realization that cheating is bad for myself in the first place only in adolescence. Before that, I was just afraid to tell the full truth. Now, of course, there are moments of “lying for good”, I will not hide it, but it has all been reduced to such a minimum that I resort to it really in almost hopeless situations and hope that later I will get rid of this phenomenon in my life at all.

What does modern youth think about lies
Now young people are very ambivalent about lying in childhood, and, again, this is due to many factors. Some of my peers claim that they have never lied,but most of them admit that they have sinned.
The situations were different: someone lied, exaggerated, because he did not have enough attention and encouragement, someone went to the deception in order to get something desired. The common thing in all cases is one-parents just scolded them for lying, but no one tried to help the child in any way, but only felt sorry for themselves “why do I get this punishment…”.
And for me, this is fundamentally wrong.
No one wanted to find out the real reason for what the child did – the important part was the punishment and taking the promise “I will never do this again”.
And in those families where such a behavior model was accepted as normal for a child in childhood, most often in adolescence the child’s attitude to lying does not change, therefore, at least cases of omission and lies in small things continue.

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