Dear Manay Gina,
I have a problem with my youngest daughter. She’s only five years old. She is a smart girl but oftentimes, she lies to avoid punishment for doing bad things. At first, we were amused at how she could easily blame her other siblings for her wrongdoings. However, this behavior has become a source of concern because I’m afraid that she might grow up being like that.
Everyone lies to some extent, but if your child lies a lot, it’s important to take action to correct the behavior.
In this case, she may be lying because she’s afraid to take the punishment. So, try to avoid getting angry and instead, try to find punishments that fit the wrongdoing.
You need to work with your child to come up with the punishments. Discuss why lying is wrong and what will happen when she lies. When your child has input, she may be more likely to follow the rules. Take away privileges that mean something to your child – for younger children, this may be a favorite toy, but for older children, this may be the ability to go out with friends.
You also have to create stricter punishments for lying than for misbehaving. In doing so, you encourage your children to be more honest.
“When a liar became too skilled at deception, he could lose the ability to discern truth, and could himself be more easily deceived.” – Dean Koontz
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