Be Your Child’s Advocate
By Sharon Monteiro
Part of parenting is dealing with our children telling lies, so what do we do when our child tells a lie? We connect with them and teach them the value of telling the truth.
We can instill the value of truth by not lying to our children or asking them to lie on our behalf. For example, somebody comes to the door and you do not want to meet that person, you tell your child to say that Mummy is not at home. There is no such thing as a white lie. A lie is a lie to a child and they will hold you accountable for this lie which then makes it difficult for you to hold them accountable when they lie.
When our child tells us a lie there is an agenda behind it – either our child has a need which needs to be met or they are afraid of us overreacting to what they have done. What if we could be totally present with our child when they lie to us, make eye contact and ask them if they would like to think about what they have just told us and come back and say it to us again?
This way, we are giving them a second chance to think about what they have said. Maybe they will stick with the same lie, the same story. We could then sit down comfortably with them and ask them what is going on, what they need from us or are if they afraid that we will overreact if they tell us something. This strategy always works as your child now feels safe to confess what is really going on.
Children will tell lies – the question is how we deal with them lying. We need to be their coach, their advocate and help them solve their problems without resorting to telling lies.