Honesty is a feature that adults greatly respect, so when children are dishonest, parents will really worry about it. However it is normal to be unsure of ways to stop children lying.
How to foster integrity
- Call the problem calmly but do not need confessions
Don’t ask behavior questions if you know the answer already. It is rarely successful to try to compel your child to confess: most children and adults) will lie to defend themselves when on the spot.
- Try to understand why it’s difficult for your child to be honest
It is important to understand why your child thinks it needs to lie. Maybe your kid lies about the grades he has in school because he is too pressured to succeed. Or if your child refuses punishment time and again maybe the punishments you use are so extreme that your child is too afraid of telling the facts. Recall that it’s about educating a child and not causing anxiety.
- Teach your child why lying isn’t working
Teach your child how important it is to say the truth and how lies will stop people from believing in it even though they are truthful. One good way to do this is to read your child’s books that explicitly state that lying isn’t helpful. It makes you take time to talk with your child after reading the story’s about what he has learned. Note this should be comfortable and enjoyable, not a lecture on morality!
- React with strong implications
At the age of six, children will understand the difference between reality and lies. If you lie to try to disguise something that you’ve done, then it would be nice to have consequences for both the lying and the behavior. Make it clear to your child that honesty will gain your acceptance and make it easier.