Read stories which encourages speaking the truth and depicts the benefits of doing so.
The child has done something wrong but has the courage to own it up. He is not punished terribly for that deed. Hence a real enforcement of telling the truth. The kid understands that punishment is not the ultimate result of telling a lie.
The stories of the life of great people who owned their misdeeds are effective.The message of not lying and owning up are effective communication of the positive message. It explicitly encourages them to speak the truth even if the child has done something inappropriate. The fable of the boy crying wolf and ultimate result of that boy gets in big trouble the third time he lies reflects a different meaning to them.
In the end, you will be scolded for your misdeed is the message the child get. So the fear of punishment is the catalyst here. The child in this fable reinforced the result of lying is punishment, and this is nothing new to them. They will now device many stories to cover up the lie. Fear of the consequences of lying threatens them.
- Children learn from you: The easiest way children learn is they absorb and emulate the habit of their parents or their caregiver. So restrict yourself from telling a lie whenever possible even if it a white lie. The simple example of it is here. If you do not want to answer phone call of someone at that moment, do not lie that you are cooking or engaged with something. Instead of that, you can say you will call back once you are free. The child observes even such small things and finds it confusing. You lied unnecessarily, and the kid got a message that lies are OK and comfortable unless you get caught.
- Immunity and Praise: When you have removed the fear of punishment for lying it reduces the lying to a great extent. When you add genuine compliment and not lip service; the child is encouraged to speak the truth. He or she is happy that their truth has in reality made their parents happy and proud. The impact of it are twofold; the frequency of lying reduces drastically, and the child becomes courageous to speak the truth. The early you inculcate this habit the better benefits you are going to reap in the coming teenage years.
- Lying is a symptom of a bigger problem in behaviour: If you find that there is a sudden dramatic increase in telling lies from your kid please immediately know the circumstances which are inducing him or her to lie. Whether in the elementary school where he or she is going have any bullying issues. Therefore, they are using lying as a coping mechanism. Are they slipping from their peers evaluation and feeling inferior. Lying is a telltale sign of something has definitely gone wrong with the kid's environment in which he or she interacts.
- Don’t Tell or Don’t tattle :Children’s from very young age comes running to you many times that their friend have does something wrong, and they are telling the truth. In most of the cases, it is true. The friend may have kicked first and then he or she have retaliated, or the elder brother has taken the plaything away from the kid. For you, it becomes a real pain and your reaction for most of the time is" It is your problem, can you solve it yourself”. Kids pick up the power of “Don’t tell” and use it with their friends to be in the peer group. The parents and teachers have silenced their tattling, and they discouraged for tattling. The children learn that any misdeed of their friend if pointed out is going into conflict and being ostracised as a “tattling child”. The holding back of information from parents and teachers have begun, and they are carried forward to the teenage.
Does lie of a child matter down the road of their growing up. The answer is yes and no. The irony of lying is that is that it is both abnormal and normal behaviour at the same time. It is not unexpected and the same time not to be ignored.
The key here to succeeding; is to have a balance of both the world. This help the kid for a happy, healthy growing.