Since toddlers fibs are not malicious or calculated, they are not a
cause of concern or punishment. Assuming that a child lives in an atmosphere of honesty
and trust, this fibbing stage will eventually end.
It is necessary to nurture the development of honesty in a child in the following ways :
Do not make it
easy for your child to lie : Rather than asking him "Did you do that?" say
"I know that you did".
Make it easy to
tell the truth : Rather than condemning, shouting and saying "Look what you did again
!" the child would not like it and may say "I did not". You would rather
say "Oops! the water is spilled all over the floor, how did that happen ?". You
are likely to get a confession.
the truth pay off : If you appreciate a child for being honest by saying "I like it
when you tell me the truth", the child is more likely to speak the truth.
Help your child
to see the whole truth : Often a toddler may say his side of the story, in which case you
have to extract out the full story.
Do not force
your toddler to lie : Too much pressure and high expectations may make a child lie.
child : Let your child know that you trust him. Truth and trust are inseparable, if you
are truthful, you will be trusted. They go hand in hand. Be sure that your toddler can
trust you too.
your policy : Nothing teaches a toddler to be honest better than a parent's example. Be
truthful in your dealings.
Do not tell the
bus conductor that your 3 year old is only 2 years in order to pay a half ticket.
Do not tell
your relatives you are down with stomach problem, when actually you are out for dinner
Do not make
your child say a white lie like "Daddy is not home", over the phone when an
Past History :
Ram was being attended to by the counsellor in the child guidance clinic. Ram, a boy of 8
years, was brought by the parents to the counsellor and the parents complained that he
frequently went to school without his text books and lied a lot on questioning. On taking
the case and talking to the parents, it was found that Ram was not able to adjust with his
peer group in class. He seemed to exist in a world of his own. He was overwhelmed by his
fear of the teacher, his peers and school in general. He was often found alone in a
corner. At home, he lied to his parents a lot. He had a tremendous fear of his father whom
he disliked very much.
Attempts were made to help the child recognize some of his negative feelings towards
himself, his parents or significant others in his life and to learn appropriate means of
expressing these feelings. He was made to express his feelings through play, drawings,
clay modeling and story telling. Thus the child, who was unaware of his anger towards his
father, could express it by drawing an adult male figure and colouring it. His self-esteem
was increased by positive statements and group skills were enhanced. He was made aware of
the importance of academics in his school life and was made to adhere to rules by not
cheating and lying.
Parents were counselled to accept him unconditionally and advised that
encouragement and praise should be given regularly.