No Pinocchio Here- The Truth Shall Set You Free

The biggest lesson my parents ever taught me was that the truth shall set you free.  Lies were meant to cause more trouble and that by telling the truth good things would happen. It is that lesson that encourages the relationship I have with my children.  How so?  Leading by example is the best parenting.  Your examples shine in your children.
Kids will tell lies.  There are many reasons as to why and by understanding those reasons you can encourage your children to be honest.

Why they Lie
1. They don't want to get into trouble.
2. They don't want to hear/feel/see your disappointment.
3. They are afraid of the truth

How to Address the Why
1. Who wants to get in trouble?  As an adult, I still do not like the feeling of being in trouble.  I encourage an open ear policy with my children.  By letting them come to me with all things they are less "afraid" or "intimidated" to come to me with big things.

2.  Disappointment is a part of life and we cannot guard them against hearing/feeling/seeing disappointment.  What we can do is explain why disappointment is not a negative thing.  For example,  we learn from mistakes and while they can be disappointing it is important to encourage learning from it instead of dwelling on what could have or should have happened.  The bad things we experience allow us to appreciate the good things so much more. 

3.  Fear of the truth can be due to a lack of self-esteem or shame that they feel because of an action they performed.  By ignoring or lying about it, it allows them to feel less shame.  In this situation it is important to address this reason for lying.  Encourage them to not feel ashamed such as explaining it could happen to anyone or relate a situation you experienced to give them comfort.

Of course we do not want to be lied to, but at some point or another we have all told lies.  By understanding why a lie may be told it may be easier to forgive the person telling the lie, but also get them to change their motivation for choosing to lie over telling the truth.  In my experience it is harder to tell a lie than it is to tell the truth.  The truth never changes, but a lie can.


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