HelpThru Parenting Daily Encouragements To Learn And Practice

HelpThru Parenting

When do kids start to deceive?  Some research has confirmed as early as 7 months.   It’s often starts in play.   Subtle manipulation, a type of fun or trickery.     Many questions arise as: What to you do?.   Should I discipline?  Am I imagining something?

Take a close look and figure out the “why” of a child’s responses, not to make excuses for them, but to find insight.  Maybe there’s something of which they’re afraid.  Other reasons why a child may react with deception may be that they are avoiding something they don’t like or feel they can’t do.  Maybe it’s a sign to provide more support and encouragement to assist  the child to feeling confident in themselves or receiving a reward for overcoming an obstacle.

It takes time to reflect upon why a child may be motivated to lie.  Possibly their actions are a result of a desire to control a situation or seek power in a selfish way.  Whatever the driving force, giving some thought time to the child’s unspoken need or demand may grant understanding that will help us break a cycle.  Sometimes parents just have to find creative ways to outsmart the child to bring understanding to the child’s immature thinking.  Outsmarting does mean belittling the child in anyway or name calling, but rather a way to help make a point.

For example, our grandson wanted to ride his bike in a neighborhood where we were taking an evening walk.  To avoid unsafe traffic with a stroller for his sibling, we walk through a public field.  We made it clear that the only way he could bring his bike along was if he walked it through the field by himself.  He’s only four, but strong enough to accomplish this task with effort he could reasonably exert.

Shortly into the field, he whined, “I can’t, my leg hurts or my tire is stuck.”  Was he deceiving us with realistic reasons?  Or was he finding an escape route to his decision with over exaggerated issues to get his way?  We kept saying comments like, “but you are doing it or we’re almost there or wow, look how strong you are.”

He was so close to being through the field to his destination. when he asked if he could leave the bike in the field and get it on our way back.   We just smirked at him and kept walking, assuring him he could do it.  Actually we felt proud of his creative thinking as opposed to trying to get someone else to walk or carry the bike for him.

We were all a bit relieved when he reached the goal because it was so tempting to rescue him from his discomfort.  When he hopped on his bike, his smile thrilled us all.  Part of the joy was watching him ride his bike and happily exclaim, “Woo-hoo! I did it!”

Whew, we got through that one.  Should we have let him whine or listened to his ideas to find a way out?  Given the context, it was an opportunity to be his cheerleader which was more important than silencing him for our ease.  We could have spouted, “Man-up and get over it. ” The atmosphere was much more pleasant with words of support as opposed to put downs or lectures.  He learned the truth for himself even though he did try to deceive himself and us.  He could do it by himself!  Independence and honesty are both important virtues to be successful in living healthfully.  Pushing past resistance makes us all stronger.



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