How to lessen the chances your children will lie

Carol Roach By Carol Roach, 22nd Jan 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Parenting

Although there is no surefire way to prevent your children from lying, there are techniques to lessen the effect.


Children lie because they want to protect themselves from the dire consequences of having the truth revealed. You can help rid their fears and anxieties about the situation by lessening the severity of the consequences.

Don’t blame the child

Focus solely on the misdeed and talk about what happened and how the situation was handled and what would have been a better choice. Be careful not to blame the child and punish too harshly if you want to avoid lying in the future.

Do not question or cross-examine, this puts children under great pressure and the children will feel anxious, worried and afraid.

If you demand ever detail; what time was it, what were you doing at the time, why did you tell so and so that in the first place and so on, that kind of grilling will make the children just close down and not talk at all.

Don’t scare them

You should not you bring on the scare tactics. Such as “you are going to sit there all night if you have to until I am convinced you are telling me the truth. Or, I will beat you if have to, to get the truth out of you.”

Don’t scream, overreact, or place your child in a situation where he/she has to tell another lie just to cover up the first one.

For example, your child comes home with a scratch on his face and bloody nose; don’t begin screaming at him, “ Did you get into another fight at school again today? Didn’t I warn you there would be hell to pay if you got into another fight! This will only put the child in a position to lie and say he didn’t get into a fight, make up some excuse such as tripping or falling out of a tree, or blame an innocent person by saying well Johnny started it. He hit me first.

It would be better to remain calm and ask your child what happened. You will be in a better position to get the truth that way.

Try to find positive intent from the lies

Try to find a positive reason for the lie for example, “I know you were only trying to help your friend, that was a good thing to do, but you must always tell mommy when these things happen okay?”

What to do when you child does tell the truth

Do not accuse your child of making up another lie. This will only reinforce telling lies because you don’t believe him/her anyway.

Thank him/her for the truth and give out appropriate consequence with an explanation for why you are doing it.

Express how you are happy you are that he/she came to you and that you know it is hard to tell the truth when you have made a mistake.

Appropriate consequences

Give out the appropriate consequences with an explanation for why you must do it.
For example, I know that you wanted to help Johnny with his homework, but you know that you are not supposed to go anywhere after school without asking me first, so for tonight since it is already late and you have eaten at Johnny’s house there will be no TV and you are going straight to bed.

Or, because you told me the truth, I will not punish you this time, but remember if it happens again and you do not call me and ask if you can go to someone’s house after school, I will have to punish you.


Bottom line: You want your children to be able to come to you with whatever problems or concerns they have and know that you are there to guide them.


Childrens Lies, How To Stop Chidrens Lies, How To Stop Kids From Lying, Lies

Meet the author

author avatar Carol Roach
Retired therapist and author of two books, freelance writer, newsletter editor, and blogger. I write, health, mental health, women's issues, animal , celebrity, history, and SEO articles.

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23rd Jan 2015 (#)

It is very educational article. Thank you for sharing this.

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