Friday, May 11, 2012

Parenting Children When They Lie

According to researchers most children are lying by the age of two and they continue to do so while most parents are poorly detecting it.  Parents want to believe their children are honest.  It is difficult to think of your children as having bad traits.

If children's lies go undetected and/or unaddressed, children continue to lie and the stakes get higher.  A little two year old may lie to get a cookie, but an older child may be hanging out with unsavory friends in dangerous situations.

While I am no expert and I can only explain my parenting position, my disclaimer has been offered.  Each parent needs to parent in a way they feel comfortable with.  While it is important deal with the lie in the moment, it is equally important to recognize whether our behavior as parents contributes to the lying.  When we lie out of convenience or for personal gain (getting out of that social invitation or to get a special discount), we show our children that lying is ok in certain situations.  Maybe we can go one step further by being concerned with whether we are lying to ourselves about the types of results we will have by the things we do.  It is easy to judge and blame someone else for a weakness, but it is hard to take an honest look at ourselves and see how we may have brought this "thing" into our life.

Our environment is made up of the beliefs we have and the actions we do.  Becoming the person we want to be requires us to put in the effort to support the beliefs and actions that will create this ideal.  Sometimes, we need to say no in an uncomfortable situation or admit we screwed up.  The easy lie seems great at first, but it tends to bring more lies into our life.  As we honestly appraise our actions, we can create more of what we want in our life.  As we struggle with this, our children watch and learn how to navigate life.  Raising children is not easy.  I believe that having children teaches us adults how to raise ourselves to adulthood.

Stay healthy & well,

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