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Disciplining your child


PART- 5

Truth As A Foundation Of Discipline

Telling truth is a must for discipline of both the child as well as the parent. Lying , again both in child and parent, therefore should be discouraged right from beginning.

What exactly is lying?

It is deliberately telling someone, something untrue.

Is lying normal?

Yes, it is normal for children to exaggerate the truth and turn it to a lie. It is accepted that by six year of age most children will lie. Children don't deliberately lie until the age of three or four because they don't have the skills needed to lie.

Children ages four and five typically tell tall tales, brag, and exaggerate the truth: "My mom is the best cook in the whole world." "My dad is the best swimmer in the whole club" Telling tall stories is different from lying; it is a child's way of stretching his imagination, experimenting with language and making themselves look good.

Children under five are just beginning to develop a sense of right and wrong. They may not yet know that lying is wrong.

Children faced with other kids with more toys and better toys (with low self-esteem) may be more likely to exaggerate about themselves in order to help feel good.

If two children give different versions of the same event, they may not be intentionally lying but telling the truth as they see it It may just be a difference of opinion.

Toddlers and preschoolers may say something that is not true to cover up a mistake or bad behavior. They may think that by telling something that they wish was true, it may become true.

Most children lie because they don't feel safe telling the truth and fear severe punishments or harsh criticism. Such children, who lie often to cover up mistakes, need reassurance that everyone misbehaves at times and that this doesn't make them a bad person.

Sometimes children lie to deal with a stressful situation: a child who is having a problem at school like being bullied may invent a story to avoid going there.

A word of caution: If a child below 5 tells of physical or sexual abuse, take it seriously and as TRUTH and don't assume that they are lying. Children under age five typically do not have the knowledge or words to lie about being physically or sexually abused.

Parents tell stories, myths and tall tales to children. Children will be more honest if their parents or caretakers are honest. If you catch your child lying, be careful how you handle the situation. Your understanding of the situation will make a big difference in preventing recurrences.

Next month – How to handle your child lying

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