You may be the frustrated parent of a preschooler, who is trying to deal with the separation anxiety of preschool, finish up those toilet training issues, and deal with lying. Children in the preschool age group are well known to be experienced with lying. Parents can feel overwhelmed and frustrated that their newly verbal little darling uses most of their words to not tell the truth. It can make parents reach the breaking point as they try to deal with this new child development stage. The good news is that there are several things that you can do. Best of all it is important to keep in mind that most kids pass through this stage, learn about telling the truth, and discard their fabricating ways. Here is what you need to know about how to deal with your preschooler who is lying-
- Be an example-Parents should remember that children this age are learning mostly by what they see in the world around them. If your preschooler sees you lie to Grandma about why you can’t come to dinner this Sunday, she will simply assume that lying is all right. If you want to raise a child who focuses on telling the truth, then you will need to show your child the behavior you want, not just tell them about how to do it.
- Focus on the positive-While your first reaction may be to respond in anger to your preschooler who has just told you a bold face lie, try to resist. Negative reactions and anger rarely bring about a permanent change in behavior. If anger is all your child is seeing when she comes to talk to you, she will rebel, become overly hard on herself, or become sneaky in what she says and does. None of these are the behaviors you are looking for. You want to make sure that you are praising your preschooler when she does tell the truth. Remember that a harsh punishment for lying is not only inappropriate at this age, it will most likely not have the desired effect. Instead be positive with your child, so that she can quickly see that telling the truth is much more desirable.
- Reassure your child that you will love her no matter what she tells you-Many children this age are unsure if the love of the parent is stable. They may feel that if they do something wrong, then a parent will not love them anymore. This happens even in the most stable homes. You need to take the time to explain to your children that no matter what they do or what they have to tell you, Mommy and Daddy will always love them. Finally, make sure that this message is repeated when lying is not at the center of the conversation.
- Work on trust building-You want to reassure your child that you trust her and that you can be trusted as well. Make sure that you are always telling the truth, so that they know they can trust you. For example: If the shot is going to hurt, don’t make it easy on you by telling them it isn’t. Parents should always try to keep their word and apologize when they break a promise. This way preschoolers see and understand a trusting relationship in action.
- Set some boundaries-While lying is not a major problem at this age, it is always important to let your child know what the boundaries are. You can use different situations to let your child know what acceptable behavior is. Having loving and clearly defined boundaries helps your preschooler feel more in control and lessens the chance that she will feel the need to lie to gain control or your attention.