Whether a bald-faced lie, a denial, an omission, a fabrication, a minimization, or an exaggeration, lying misleads others and damages our reputation. Think of the people in our lives. Those who are honest tend to have meaningful friendships characterized by mutual trust and respect. We insulate ourselves by keeping good company; one healthy best practice is to block dishonest people from joining our inner circle. Untruthful people don’t enjoy the same quality of friendships as folks who are consistently truthful—they’re lucky if they have any friends at all.
Change the Game
Nearly all children go through a “lying” stage. Mothers can tweak the hierarchy of family rules. Coach children that telling the truth matters more than anything else, encouraging them to be confidently unafraid of our reactions when they fess up. By setting this expectation, and honoring our end of the agreement, we’re on the path to raising honest children.
Set the Tone
A mother has the privilege of setting the tone in the household. Create an environment of forgiveness, a place where children are free to speak the truth without fear of admonishment for their confessions. If admissions of guilt devolve into blame, shame, and punishment, why would children want to own their mistakes? Within the safety of a judgment-free home, children can save face, tell the truth, and realize they never have to lie in the first place. Consistent with these ideas, mothers can double down by making it known that if there is one violation certain to incur our wrath, it is dishonesty. Most importantly, when children consistently witness mom’s honesty, they develop a natural inclination toward honoring the truth.
Have Their Back
Especially with deeper and more impactful conversations, both physically and metaphorically, avoid sitting “across the table.” Especially when the talk track gets heavy, parents should position themselves on “the same side of the table.” Remind them that, as their mother, we love them more than life itself and they have zero reason to ever be afraid of us. Look in their eyes, smile, and convince them that we have their back until the end of time. By establishing this comfort zone, children should feel protected in their vulnerability and understand that in telling the truth, they will continue to receive mom’s unconditional love and support.
One simple truth: people—especially children—tend to lie, especially when they don’t think we can handle the truth. At an elemental level, “learning opportunities” are often camouflaged as “mistakes.” When we teach a growth mindset to our children, they’ll start seeing the value in making “mistakes,” embracing “learning opportunities” as building blocks to success. By helping children feel super comfortable about the truth, we set them on the path to becoming honest, dependable men and women of good character.
“The Lord detests double standards; he is not pleased by dishonest scales.”
—Proverbs 20:23 NLT
This book is a great resource to help children understand not only the consequences of telling a lie, but also how one lie can often lead to telling several more. It will help parents and teachers understand that lying can be a normal and sometimes healthy response for a child and offers tools to help guide children toward truthfulness.
The world’s bestselling pug is back in this humorous and poignant picture book about the right time to tell the truth.
We are at war. Not with a foreign government or domestic terrorists. No, it’s a war we feel deep inside our own chests: we are at war with lies. The problem isn’t so much that we tell lies but that we live them. We let them into our bodies, and they sabotage our peace. It’s time to live no lies…
Touches on the childhood issue of lying with gentleness and humor, offering a reassuring look at how standing up for the truth can help cut even the biggest mistake down to size.
A thought-provoking work that challenges our preconceptions about dishonesty, urging us to take an honest look within, changing the way we see ourselves and our world.
Your greatest weapon—for good or evil—is in your mouth. Watch Your Mouth is a compelling resource to help you learn to tame your tongue. Don’t let your words bring cursing or destruction to yourself and those you love. Instead, let your words minister to and speak life into the world around you.
PLEASE NOTE: As an Amazon Associate, Mothers Truly Matter earns from qualifying purchases. The information in this post should not be construed as providing specific psychiatric, psychological, or medical advice, but rather to offer readers information to better understand the lives and health of themselves and their children. It is not intended to provide an alternative to professional treatment or to replace the services of a physician, psychiatrist, or psychotherapist.