Lying and Trust
By Mary Eschen
Many parents get very upset when they catch their children lying, stealing or cheating. These situations are stressful for every parent and throw us into a vast array of emotions ranging from anger to disappointment and hopelessness. There is some guidance on these important issues but the solutions all seem to involve TRUST. It’s TRUST that has been broken and needs to be repaired. The actual event is secondary and arguing with our kids about whether or not “it” happened only gets everyone into a non-productive and angry state.
Problem solving skills are needed. The PROBLEM is TRUST HAS BEEN BROKEN. These are steps to follow:
In surfing the internet I found some other articles from counselors who have more detailed descriptions and opinions on dealing with lying and trust. Take a look at them.
One word of advice, MAKE A PLAN before you talk to your kid. Run it by a friend or email me or call me.
There's also my podcast and blog post on the subject that goes into a lot more details:
Podcast 26: Lying, Cheating and Stealing (audio)
Blog for Podcast 26 (transcript)
This article is my favorite!
Here's something another L&L® person posted:
My oldest child (now a freshman in high school) had a terrible time with lying. She was adopted from an orphanage, and she claims that everyone in the orphanage lied and no one cared.
It took her nearly four years to figure out that when we don't trust her, we don't believe her, and she gets fewer privileges. I just kept telling her, "You have taught me not to trust you, you can teach me that I can trust you, but it will take consistent honesty on your part."
For small lies with my little ones, I don't punish, a child is less likely to admit to lying if they know they will be punished for lying. I just tell my kids that if they want to be believed, they have to be truthful.