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When a child lies or denies the evidence of something they have done, it does not have to mean that the child is a compulsive liar. In fact, when children are very young (before 3 years) their lies are more related to their imagination and fantasy than to an apparent reason that they want to take advantage of.
Therefore, it is important that the adults in your environment focus their efforts on correcting when the child denies the obvious, in order to avoid using it frequently when he is older.
There are children who deny the obvious until the end and use lies as a way of protection, to feel safe, or to meet some need. When they do, they are indicating that they have some fear, or that they feel some kind of insecurity. The most frequent causes for which the child lies are:
- One of the main reasons that make the child deny the obvious and use lies is the fear of being punished.
- When they feel frustrated for something and tell the opposite. For example, you fail an exam and say you have passed it.
- Children do it because it is what they see being done around them. That is to say they do it by imitation.
- They lie because feel neglected and they do it as a wake-up call.
The intention in the lie appears depending on the rate of maturation of the child. Depending on their maturation, the child may begin to lie with intention and deny the obvious at some point in the period from 3 years to 7 years.
- Be an example. There are parents who resort to white lies "for the good of the child", making promises that cannot be kept or deceiving them for our comfort, such as saying: "Today we are not going to the park because it is closed." Children learn through imitation and with these behaviors we teach them to lie.
- Take into account the child's personality. Depending on the personality pattern of the child, it will present traits more likely to transform reality. On the one hand, there are children with a great capacity for imagination. And on the other hand, there are children in need of recognition who invent things in order to receive praise and rewards.
- To give trust. It should boost your self-esteem and give you the confidence you deserve. To do this, it is necessary to make it clear to the child that if he lies there will be consequences to transfer responsibility for his actions.
- Give the child the opportunity to reconsider. When we ask him for explanations, we must let him speak and not anticipate answers by assuming what has happened. You have to give him the opportunity to admit that he is lying and if he does, acknowledge his courage but remembering that there will be consequences and he will have to admit his penance.
- Avoid behaving as if the child were not lying. That is, we cannot prevent this type of child from lying, so it is very practical to let the little one know that if he is lying, we will stop asking him and we will go directly to the source to find out. For example, if you lie about your grades, you will go to ask the teacher directly.
- Be patient. The best thing for these situations is to arm yourself with patience, perseverance and firmness when it comes to acting in the face of lies.
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