I hate when my kids bold face lie!
“I didn’t do it!”
“I don’t know…”
No matter how perfect and wonderful your kids are, they’re eventually going to lie. It may be a little white lie, it might be a lie with a huge impact on everyone in the family…maybe it’s your two year old, maybe it’s your teen…
But, when it becomes a habitual thing, what’s a parent to do?
First of all, it’s important to know that when your kid lies, you have somehow made it possible for them to lie. Not to blame you (sorry!), but you need to stop giving your child the option to lie.
For example, let’s say your eight year old accidentally helped himself to a piece of pie that you told your kids NOT to touch.
“Who took the piece of pie?” will put your child in a spot where he can lie. Even asking him why he took it could lead to a lie. How easily “not me” or “I didn’t do it!” slips out to avoid consequences!
Instead, you can simply say, “I told everyone not to touch the pie until I was ready to dish it out. Because you did, you have already eaten your piece. Don’t expect any when the rest of us have dessert.”
Your cute little toddler is running around the house, playing and having fun, and out comes a “bad word” from her mouth. What do we say right away, without even thinking?
“Did you just say _____?”
And, you’ve set your little one up to feed you the lie, “No!”
Instead, skip right past the question. Why ask the obvious?
“We do not say bad words!” Then, dole out the warning or time out.
Here’s where things get difficult.
In our house, it’s not always easy to pinpoint who did what with eight children. When something comes up missing or broken, the entire house seems to chime tones of “it wasn’t me” and “I didn’t do it”.
I have to play detective by questioning suspects and collecting evidence, process of elimination. Lol
Often, when it’s all said and done, I still have no answers and a definite liar or two in the bunch.
So, here’s what I did the other day when the Egg Nog that I had purchased just the night before and specifically told all of the children not to touch ended up half empty the next morning. I lined all of my children up side by side, told them to turn around and face the wall, no talking, and they would stay there until someone confessed to stealing the Egg Nog.
And I let them stand there, whispering under their breath to each other. I overheard the word “unfair”, and although I told them not to talk, I figured a little sibling pressure on the culprit couldn’t hurt. About 20 minutes later, a confession came out. (Although later, it was recanted. The kiddo claimed they just felt bad that the four year old and six year old had to stand there like that and God would punish the real person who did it…so who knows?)
But, you get the point here. Before you ask the questions, just think about how you could rephrase what you are going to say to avoid your child lieing.
If you already know they did it, skip right to the reminder of why we don’t do it and dole out the punishment.
The habitual liar. (Sigh….)
Here’s where frustration can really max out. This is the child that will lie to you, even when they know you know that they did it…or didn’t do it (like their homework).
This child will lie to you when you just saw them, with your own eyes, perform the offending act, and then try to jump on the defensive with you.
Don’t buy into it!
Do not ask them why they did it, there are no explanations. Do not ask the child anything. Tell them.
“You know that behavior is wrong.”
When that child starts to open their mouth to spout out their excuses or bold faced lies, repeat yourself.
“You know that behavior is wrong. And it won’t be tolerated. There are consequences for that type of behavior.” Go on to state the consequence that needs to be paid by the child for their infraction. Repeat any of the above as necessary until your child hears you.
(Whatever you do, don’t say that a consequence will happen the next time this happens. Because there shouldn’t be a “next time” around if that behavior is not accepted. Right?)
Put your foot down, don’t accept lieing, but most importantly, don’t lie yourself. Or, at least don’t do it in front of your kids. 😉