All I know is something happened when my little Lola turned 5. Her “stories” became more dramatic. Her eyes became bigger as her hand movements became more animated. And she never did anything wrong…not even if she was caught in the act.
Recently, my oldest had a full bottle of tea tree oil on her night stand. A couple days later I walked into her room to discover a distinct odor. As I walked over to the night stand I noticed the bottle of tea tree oil with the cap on, but empty. COMPLETELY empty. After getting down on my hands and knees, I tried to find where the spill had happened. Then, I went on to find the culprit.
The good news is, IF there was mold in Autumn’s room, there is no more! Yay for tea tree oil and its goodness. The bad news is, we’ve got a tall tale teller, non-admitter on our hands. A pants on fire.
As an adult, we all have told little white lies now and again, but as a parent how do you teach your children not to lie? We want to teach our children that lying is not the way to resolve things, but also understand why we sometimes don’t tell the whole truth, in order to not hurt another person’s feelings.
Kids under four do not clearly understand the difference between truth and lies. These youngsters let their emotions rule, and the lines are definitely blurry when it comes to lying. As a parent, you can try a gentle and diplomatic approach when you catch them in a lie. Around age four your child will generally be more verbal and outright deny when they have done something wrong. You can guide a conversation and explain to them why it is not okay to not tell the truth.
When children go to school (say between kindergarten and 3rd grade), they really like to test the waters and see what they can get away with. Kids this age sometimes feel overwhelmed in school and will fib about things like homework, or getting in trouble. You really must practice what you preach for kids this age, as they are looking to you as a parent to learn about behaviors. Be positive and acknowledge when you child is truthful. Explain how to navigate trickier situations, such as if they receive a gift they don’t like. Show them how they can still be thankful to the gift giver, and learn that they don’t need to tell them everything they are feeling.
Tweens start getting better at lying and hiding it. Remind them it is ok to be polite in certain social situations, but also reinforce that you need them to be truthful with you. If you keep the lines of communication open and are respectful to your child, they will be more inclined to open up to you. You want your tweens to feel comfortable telling you the truth and just talking to you.
If you start talking to your children about honesty while they are young, you have a better chance of them being more truthful and willing to talk to you when tough situations arise. Always listen to your kids and try to set a good example when it comes to lying.
And so, we are still trying to get the truth out of our little Lola, but we will! The tea tree oil investigation…To be continued…