What to Do When You Catch Your Kid in a Lie – Can You Let it Go?

catch your kid in a lie

What's Really Going On?

“Catch” is the operative word here! It implies that your kid has purposely set out to deceive you. Has he, or is there something else going on here?

The challenge is that everyday logic points in the wrong direction! It's hard enough to accept that once AGAIN, he didn't turn in his homework, clean his room, or brush his teeth. But that he lied about it, AGAIN -- how is that supposed to be okay?

The reality is that our kids want to be good, but sometimes they do things that aren't.

What Are You Feeling?

When you catch your kid in a lie, notice what you're feeling: disrespected? Frustrated? Astonished and scratching your head? Are you worried that he is “bad” - and will never make it in the real world? Or that your are bad – and ineffective as a parent?

What if the reason your child lied is actually because he has working memory issues? If he was stressed out and trying to save face, or so afraid of failing again that he resorted to lying, or answering impulsively without thinking it through -- that would be pretty typical.

How To Step In

So, if you want to solve the underlying problem, then you might need to figure out a way to let go of “proving” a lie and focus on the circumstances. It might mean creating a new system to help him remember, finding a strategy for getting out of threat mode when he feels that lying is his only escape, or teaching him to stop and think before responding.

Lying doesn't always signal intentional deception: sometimes it can mean that your kid needs some support to find a better way.



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