Dealing with a Lying Child
Joey and Carla Link
When our kids were growing up they each had their own bath towels. Carla assigned each of them their own color of towel, an easy way for her to keep track of them. I remember holding in my hand the towel of one of my daughters and I asked if it was hers. I also wanted to know why it was on the floor instead of hung on the hook. I couldn’t believe it when she said “it isn’t mine”! I knew it was hers. She was the only one that could use that color towel in our home. And now she was looking me in the eye and lying to my face! Not only that, she wanted me to believe her sister had deliberately used her towel and dropped it on the floor so she would get in trouble. I wasn’t buying that for a minute.
Do you ever wonder why a child lies even when they know it’s wrong? Do you get stressed trying to figure out how to deal with their lying?
Lying is the most grievous sin in the family. To such a point that in Proverbs 6 we are told it’s one of the 6 things God hates! There are not many things God says He hates, but when God says He hates something, it’s one of the strongest terms He uses.
The biggest thing lying does is destroy trust. If you can’t trust what comes out of your child’s mouth, then how can you believe them when they say they will be home from their friend’s house at a certain time or they will get off the computer when their time is up or they won’t get on internet sites they know are wrong for them to view?
I remember so clearly when a lying issue went on with one of our kids for several days and it affected the whole family. Finally, when this child confessed to the lie I told her (out of frustration) she had lost our family’s trust and if one of her siblings said something about her and she said it wasn’t true we would believe her siblings because we didn’t know if we could trust her to tell the truth so we would assume she was the one who was lying. Looking at her siblings, she quickly wanted to know what we would do if one of them would purposefully make up a lie just to get her in trouble. We told her that would be her tough luck, since she was the one who was characterized by lying. Of course, we did watch to see if her siblings would do this, but they stuck to the truth. This was what finally got her attention with this character flaw, and she started working on being honest.
Do you have a child that is prone to lying? Do you know the different forms of lying kids use that we as parents don’t catch? For instance, your child didn’t make his bed. You asked him about it when he got home from school and his response was he forgot to do it. It is important to learn to watch for characterization in your children. How many times a week does this child say “I forgot”? Watch him and see. If he uses it once a week, then it may not be a problem. If he used it several times a week then he is most likely characterized by using it knowing you are going to let him off the hook.
Solomon says “The Lord detests lying lips, but He delights in men who are truthful.”
If you want your children to please the Lord, you need to teach and train your kids to be truthful from their heart. This is why we have written a brand new “Mom’s Notes” presentation titled “Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire”. Carla and I recorded it together sharing lots of great information and practical insights and helps. We know this new teaching will be of great help to parents dealing with a child who lies.