We’ve punished him for it, but it doesn’t seem to do any good. What can we do to stop this?
My 8-year-old son has been lying quite a bit lately.
Mark Brandenburg replies: While there’s no guarantee that your son will stop lying to you, it might be helpful to look at the reasons why he is. First of all, it’s not unusual for 8-year-olds to tell some lies. The reason he’s lying may be that he’s not feeling particularly secure with himself, or maybe he’s afraid of your response.
Whatever the reason, one way to handle it is to get down on his level when you hear a lie and say, “You know, honey, it must be hard when you feel like you can’t tell us the truth. But when you lie to us, it makes it harder for us to trust you. Let’s all try to do better.”
After this is said, drop it and go on with your life. Most of the problems will occur if you overreact and make it worse. Eventually, the lying will leave on its own.
© Mark Brandenburg.
NFO regular contributor Mark Brandenburg, MA, CPCC, is the author of 25 Secrets of Emotionally Intelligent Fathers. Sign up for his free bi-weekly newsletter, Dads, Don't Fix Your Kids, at MarkBrandenburg.com.