- Lauren Dungy
- Shaunti Feldhahn
- Tim and Darcy Kimmel
- Betsy Landers
- Dr. Walt Larimore
- Mark Merrill
- Joanne Miller
- Dr. Gary J. Oliver
- Kathy Peel
- Dr. Greg Smalley
- Dr. Scott Turansky
- Jill Savage
Articles by Dr. Scott Turansky
- Why Firmness Doesn't Require Harshness
- Why Fair Doesn't Mean Equal
- What's Your Child's Personality Type?
- Time Out or Take a Break ?
- Three Factors to Remember About Character Training
- The Value of Generosity
- The Unmotivated Child
- The Secret to Prompt Obedience
- The Secret to Helping Children to Do What’s Right
- The Secret to Constructive Discipline
- Teaching Children about Sex
- Taking a Break vs. Time Out
- Strong-willed Kids
- Some Suggestions for Dealing with Attention Deficit Disorder
- More Than Obedience
- How to Stop the Whining and Complaining
- How to Make Parenting Shifts
- How to Bookmark the Good Days in Parenting
- How to Avoid the Boxing Ring with Your Kids
- Honor one another – even your brothers and sisters!
- Honor Lessons
- Honor favor #9: Adopting others
- Honor favor #8: Helping others in conflict
- Honor favor #7: Speech
- Honor favor #6: Prayer
- Honor favor #5: Generosity
- Honor favor #4: Service
- Honor favor #3: Ministry
- Honor favor #2: Hospitality
- Honor favor #1: Modeling
- Honor Changes People
- Helping Children Deal with Their Anger
- Gratitude or Overindulgence?
- Emotions are Complex Tools for Communication
- Discipline - Run the Parenting Race
- Defibrillating Your Child's Heart
- Dealing With Anger in Children
- Character Training Step 6: Follow-up – Continue to Work on Solutions
- Character Training Step 5 Motivation – Inspire Change
- Character Training Step 4: Treatment – Provide Instructions for Working on the Solution
- Character Training Step 3: Solution – Name and Define Each Solution
- Character Training Step 2: How to Diagnose Strengths and Weaknesses
- Character Training Step 1: Observation – Recognize the Problem
- Character Training – A Systematic Approach
- Behavior: Getting to the Heart of It
- Attitudes – Bad to Good
- Affirming Effort Toward Right Behavior
- A Work In Progress
- 8 ways to prepare your children for dealing with tragedy
- 7 Ways to Teach Self-Control
Dr. Scott TuranskyDr. Scott Turansky offers moms practical, real-life advice for many of parenting’s greatest challenges. read bio
10 Ways to Handle Lying
Have you ever given your kids the fresh breath test? If you have a child who tends to lie, like I do, you probably have! It works like this: “Did you brush your teeth?” Your child answers, yes. “Okay,” you say, “let me smell your breath.” It’s pretty obvious if your child hasn’t brushed his teeth.
Honesty is the basis for any relationship because it develops trust and upon that foundation simple things like communication and responsibility rest. When a child lies, that trust is broken and relationships suffer. Parents often don't know how to handle dishonesty and common discipline techniques don't quite address the problem. A more comprehensive plan is usually necessary since dishonesty often has several components. Here are some ways to deal with it.
1. Talk about reality and truth and how they are different from fantasy, wishes, possibility, pretend, and make believe. Require that children use cues to identify anything other than reality. Here are some ideas:
"I think it happened this way," "I think this is the answer," "I'm not sure..." "Maybe..." (possibility)
"I wish this were true," "I'd like it if..." (wish)
"I'd like to tell you a story..." "I can imagine what it would be like to..." (fantasy)
2. When you sense a child is beginning to stray from the truth, stop them. "I want you to stop talking for a minute." Sometimes children just get started and can't stop. Parents can help teach them. "Think for a minute and then start again. I'd like to hear the things you know separated from the things you think." "Start again and tell me how it really happened. Just the parts you are sure of."
3. If a child has ADHD or is impulsive, use a plan for self discipline. Sometimes children who are impulsive blurt out things without thinking. Other times they start talking and don't know how to stop. This impulsivity component can lead to dishonesty because of a lack of self-control. It's not always malicious lying, but it's still not good and shouldn't be excused because the problem often gets worse. Even though children may have poor impulse control, they must learn to tell the truth. The route, though, may contain more self discipline training than some of the other suggestions.
4. A courtesy generally given in relationships is called, "the benefit of the doubt." When a child has developed a pattern of lying we don't automatically give that courtesy. Believing someone requires trust and it's a privilege which is earned. Privilege and responsibility go together and when a child is irresponsible then privileges are taken away. For a time, the things your child says are suspect. You may even question something that is found to be true later. A child may be hurt by this, but that hurt is the natural consequence of mistrust which in turn comes from lying. Being believed is a privilege earned when children are responsible in telling the truth on a regular basis. Not believing your child may seem mean but your child must learn that people who don't tell the truth can't be trusted. Tell your child that you would like to believe him or her but you cannot until he or she earns that privilege.
5. Some situations won't be clear and some children will deliberately lie to avoid punishment. You find yourself in a predicament because proof seems impossible yet you have a sense that this child is not telling the truth. When possible, don't choose that battleground. It's too sticky and you will usually have other clearer opportunities later. Children who have a problem with lying, demonstrate it often. Choose the clearer battles and use those situations to discipline firmly. Use Taking a Break and the Positive Conclusion and maybe other consequences if necessary.
6. Confrontation should result in repentance. This may seem unrealistic at first but keep it in mind as your goal. Children who are confronted with the fact that they are telling a lie should immediately agree and apologize. A child who is defensive is relying on arguing and justifying as manipulative techniques in order to avoid taking responsibility. This is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated. Use Taking a Break to motivate the child to repentance.
7. You may, for an introductory period of time, in order to motivate repentance when confronted, withhold further discipline if a child responds properly to correction. "If you can admit it was a lie and that you were wrong when I confront you, I will not further discipline you for that lie." This is a temporary approach to teach a proper response to correction.
8. Be proactive in teaching about honesty. Tell stories from your life or read stories like:
• The Emperor's New Clothes
• The Boy who Cried Wolf
• Ananias and Sapphira from the Bible
There are several good books at your local library on this subject which are written for children and are well illustrated to capture their interest.
9. Give an outlet for creative writing or storytelling to further emphasize the difference between fantasy and reality and a proper use of fantasy.
10. Memorizing proverbs dealing with honesty is a way to appeal to a child's conscience.
These suggestions will go a long way toward helping a child tell the truth. Don't let this problem go. It only gets worse.
Continual, persistent work will pay off in the end. Other helpful ideas can be found in the book, Good and Angry, Exchanging Frustration for Character in You and Your Kids, by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN.
Related Resource: 6 ways to keep your kids honest
End your day: Talking with your child...
Who is the most honest person you know? Who’s the most dishonest?
Used with permission from Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller.
© 2007 iMom. All rights reserved.
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