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Disciplining your child


How to handle your child lying?

We parents have to keep a cool head; even if we catch a child lying as it may make him too bold and make matters worse.

Show Understanding
If you think, your child’s lie is actually his/ her wishful thinking, show understanding.

How to prevent lying in the future?
Your child should be able to come to you with mistakes committed, without fear of anger and punishment. This encourages truthfulness in future. Let him/ her know that they can come to you for help and you will accept their mistakes calmly and without anger. If they are punished for telling the truth, they will soon learn not to tell the truth.

Don't make matters worse
Most of us invite lying by asking a question that will get our child into trouble if they answer truthfully. For example, if a child has ketchup on his face and there is a broken ketchup bottle on the floor, don't ask your child if he broke the bottle. You already know the answer.

Try to see what you can do to solve a problem instead of being concerned about blaming your child. Consider telling him: "I see you broke the ketchup bottle. I'll get a napkin and we can clean it up. Better be more careful, you can cut yourself up badly" This will prevent him from lying to cover up mistakes or out of fear of punishment.

Don't make it difficult for your child
More often than not; we parents make it difficult for the child to tell the truth. When your child lies, stay calm and try to find the reason.

If your child is lying about his capabilities he may actually be seeking more affection and praise to build self-esteem.

He may also lie out of fear of punishment. Physical punishment actually causes a child to lie more to avoid the punishment. Instead, explain to your child why lying is wrong and tell a story that can make him understand, why lying is wrong, like "The Boy Who Cried Wolf."

Making it easier for your child to tell the truth will prevent lying.

Teach the difference
Teach your child the difference between partial truths and the entire truth. A child may only report a portion of what really took place: if he comes to tell you that his friend pushed him down, he may leaving out the part about how he, himself, threw a stone at the said friend, and the friend then pushed him down. Explain how the entire truth is important to understand what happened before accusing someone of doing something.

Help for your child

Consider getting professional help for your child if he:
• He/ she lies and is also in a very stressful situation: a problem at the cr�che, a sibling at home, or moving to a new house.
• Does not know the difference between fantasy and reality by five years of age.
• Tells you he has been physically or sexually abused and you wonder if he is lying. Don't assume that he is lying; young children typically do not have the knowledge or words to lie about being abused.

You are the expert when it comes to your family and child. If you have a concern, trust your instinct and find someone trained to help you: family physician, parent educators and consultants.

Consider talking it over with friends and family, too.

You don't need to worry alone!

This is the concluding part of the six-part series on 'Discipling a child?'. We hope it has been able to address all your worries and questions about 'How to discipline your child?'. If you would like to read the earlier parts of this series, you can go to the archive section and read them. Click here to get there. We would like to invite your feedback on this.

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