Why Children Lie and Blame Others
© Judy Helm Wright http://www.judyhwright.com
Helping children develop morality, responsibility and that inner compass of integrity is our goal. While lying is a normal aspect of growing up, it should not be ignored or tolerated with indifference.
Study the pattern of your child’s lying. Be pretty sure you understand what is going on before you take harsh action. But, do not let lying and blaming others go unaddressed. If honesty is a value for your family, you must address the problem and help your child to assume personal responsibility.
The best and most effective method for combating someone who is falling into a pattern of using falsehoods is to try to discern what message the child is trying to convey with his lie. Perhaps it is a bid for attention or help. Maybe it is a call for more boundaries and stronger limits on activities.
Some children need a more structured routine to increase a sense of safety and security. This means that the family has sense of consistency and the rules are known and practiced by all members of the family. Some children tell lies in order to gain a sense of value in the face of peers or to try to make friends.
Antisocial behavior that has become a habit is not easy to redirect.
Helping a child recognize a pattern of inappropriate behavior is tricky and few parents feel confident when they need to assist their child in stopping the spiral of refusal to accept personal responsibility for choices, mistakes, and assignments. Trust your instincts, but ask for help if need be.
Bad Habit of Blaming Others
Our challenge is to teach children how to cope with disappointment,
handle failure as well as success, and tell the truth even when it is hard to do so. Every child has some bad habits, mannerisms, or behaviors that we find irritating. Part of our job as caring adults is to teach them methods of getting along in relationships with other people.
In all likelihood, the child will outgrow most of these irritating ways. However, when inappropriate methods of dealing with life are reinforced by either negative or positive attention, the pattern can become a coping mechanism and affect the rest of the child’s life.
Assume Personal Responsibility
Our tendency is to demand that our children stop looking for excuses and tell us the truth — every time! Perhaps we need to look deeper into why the child doesn’t own up readily to taking the cookies – even when his face is covered with cookie crumbs.
It is vitally important that parents address the “blaming game” and look for solutions as a family. Allowing the child to continue to blame others or lie, without challenging the behavior and offering techniques to assume personal responsibility, encourages an occasional behavior to become a habit.
This pattern has the potential to worsen with time and there is also the very real possibility telling lies and blaming others will interfere with your child’s communication and interaction with others.
- Does your child lie to get attention or to avoid trouble?
- Has the lying become a habit?
- Does your child try to blame others or circumstances for his/her problems?