Saying No and Sticking To It About Lying

Advice from The Answer is NO by Cynthia Whitman

Yesterday we started sharing advice from the book, The Answer is NO by Cynthia Whitman about getting nothing but the truth from children that lie. Today we share her final recommendations for handling children that lie.

The Answer is NO by Cynthia Whitman discusses all sorts of difficult issues parents and caregivers come across on a daily basis. If you are like most caregivers and find yourself struggling with issues like children that bite, swear, have bad manners, or dress inappropriately, I highly recommend picking up a copy of The Answer is NO by Cynthia Whitman today. Click link below to purchase a copy of your own.

Whitman’s Advice for Coping with Kids That Lie:

1. Don’t interrogate. If you are pretty sure the child has done something you don’t like, make a statement to the child, rather than badger him with questions. When a child knows he is in trouble, he is already upset and worried. He will be tempted to like to avoid punishment. Rather than say, “Did you break Mr. Hill’s window when you were playing ball?” Say instead, “You guys broke Mr. Hill’s window when you were playing ball, Come on, let’s get Jeff and Frank and go apologize to Mr. Hill.”

2. If you find a child has lied, give a consequence. A consequence is the loss of a privilege which has meaning for the child, over which you have control, which you are willing to take away, and which is minimal in duration. If there is a connection between the offense and consequence, that is ideal. For example, if he lies about playing outside the boundaries you have set, the consequence might be playing inside that afternoon.

3. You lie, you are punished. Since kids lie to avoid punishment, set up a rule that if you lie to cover up a misbehavior and are caught, there will be two consequences, one for the misbehavior and one for the cover-up.

4. Avoid a battle, If the child insists he didn’t do it, but you’re pretty sure he did, avoid the battle if you possibly can. He may insist so fervently that he comes to believe in his innocence. Be willing to apologize if you find you have made a mistake.

5. They lose your trust when the they lie. A child who lies may, like in the Boy Who Cried Wolf, find that the one time he tells the truth no one will believe him. Explain that although you know he is working hard to tell the truth, because he has lied in the past, not everyone is willing to trust him yet. A little more time will be needed.


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