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When Children Lie

Sometimes children are caught in small lies, of the “I didn’t do it” variety. How to stop this behaviour before it starts to escalate? Think about it.

1 ( ) They lie to keep their parents happy with them, they lie so they won’t get in trouble, they lie to cover

embarrassment or inadequacy, or they lie because they don’t make the clear distinction between fact

& fiction. Teaching your child the value of telling the truth takes time, skill & patience.

2 ( ) Don’t ask questions that set your child up to lie. When your child has chocolate on his face & the candy

is gone, don’t ask, “Did you eat that candy bar that was on the counter?” Instead make a statement

of fact ”I’m disappointed that you ate the candy bar without asking. That will be your snack for today.”

If your child says, ”I didn’t”, - don’t play twenty questions, just state the facts, “The candy is gone,

& there’s chocolate on your face. Why don’t you go up to your room for a while & come on back

down when you want to talk about it?”

3 ( ) Focus on finding an answer instead of laying blame. “Regardless of how it happened, the lamp

is broken. What are we going to do about it?”

4 ( ) If your child comes to you with the truth, resist the urge to lecture. Thank the child for telling you & then

Focus on finding a solution or imposing a necessary consequence, without anger. Don’t make the

mistake of saying, “If you tell the truth, you won’t be punished”. We all make mistakes, & owing up to

them can be difficult, but we still need to accept responsibility for our actions. So avoid the trap of

saying, “When you tell the truth, you’ll be off the hook”, - instead, think of it this way, “If you lie, you’ll be

in even bigger trouble!”

5 ( ) Kids sometimes lie because they feel they’re not meeting your anticipation, & they think it’s easier to lie

than feel like a failure. Take a look at how you respond to your child’s mistakes or inadequacies, & make

sure you leave room for imperfections.


A Spend time on solutions.

B Review your expectations.

C Don’t start the “off the hook” mistake.

D Model truthfulness.

E Children lie for a variety of reasons.

F Be straightforward & honest.

G Find someone to talk to.

H Don’t play detective.


22. Read the text below. For questions (1-5) choose the correct answer (A, B, C or D).

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