An Our Out-of-Sync Life blog reader asked…
Anyone have good ideas for dealing with lying?
That’s a tough one and a very common problem. (We have a lying in our home!) Lying is an issue with many preschoolers. Some more than others, though. There are several reasons why preschoolers lie. Here are a few that I found and a few of my own:
• Wishful thinking.
• An active imagination. They struggle to understand what is real and what is make-believe.
• A need to feel good.
• A craving for attention.
• A sense of control.
• Laziness. It takes work to be honest.
• I want what I want and I want it now!
• Lack of character and maturity to stand against temptation.
But there is also the I-don’t-want-to-get-into-trouble reason. Let’s face it; our kids are born with a sinful nature and lying is a sin. Period.
Then, how do you stop the lying? Here are a few tips.
• Depending on the age of the child, she may not fully realize the difference between a lie and the truth. Play the “True vs. Not True” Game to help your child understand the separation of the two.
• Don’t allow your child to get away with lying. Lying is always wrong and is never cute or funny – not matter how creative it is.
• Don’t set your child up to lie. Especially children who struggle with lying, phrase questions in a way that helps them tell you the truth. Instead of “did you …” say “you did …”.
• Discuss honesty. Why should we tell the truth? Why is telling the truth better than lying? What is the difference between my imagination and lying?
• Discuss the consequences of lying – guilt, disobedience which leads to consequences, making God and those around me sad.
• Read Scripture verses about honestly. Talk about God’s view of lying. Here are a few verses.
Luke 16:10 1 Corinthians 13:6
Exodus 20:16 2 Corinthians 8:21
Leviticus 19:11 Proverbs 21:3
1 Peter 3:10-12 – “Keep Your Tongue from Evil” – Steve Green – Hide Them in Your Heart Vol. 1
• For those child who are saved, remind them that the Holy Spirit lives inside their hearts to help them make the right choice. We frequently talk in our home about listening to His voice.
• Pray with your child about being honest. Ask God to help them tell the truth.
• Model honesty!!! Your child picks up on more than you think.
• Set clear expectations about honesty. Praise the child when they have the courage to tell the truth.
• Read books about lying:
The Berenstain Bears and the Truth
My Young Child is a free website with various character education stories. Two stories are available about honesty.