the simple technique of a psychiatrist to avoid crises if your child is lying

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Lying is a more or less recurring natural self-defense mechanism. In children, it is generally without consequence. But parents still need to know how to react well to their child’s lie.

Becky Kennedy is a doctor in child psychology. She launched the Good Inside online media dedicated to education. On this one, and on her Instagram account, she gives her easy tips for reacting to the different everyday situations that parents face. Each of the techniques she offers has been tested and validated in her home, with her own children. In a video posted on June 5, 2023, she looks at the lie of the child and the best reaction for the parents. She gives several classic examples of lies that parents face, regardless of the age of their offspring. An untidy room, a broken object, homework not done, etc.

For Becky Kennedy, the best way toavoid crises and future lies (and setting up an unhealthy routine of compulsive lying) is to defuse the situation immediately. For that it is necessary Avoid pointing at your child at all costs and insist precisely on his lie. Lying is a self-defense mechanism, a primitive reaction that adults also often have (“it was not me who knocked over that pile of yoghurts at the supermarket, I assure you officer, the light was orange” etc). Must therefore avoid at all costs making your child feel a form of shame by accusing him frontally of lying. Instead, she advisesuse the naive questioning method by questioning the child with a simple “What happened ? Can you explain to me ?”. It may be a communication problem and a misunderstanding which will then be resolved quickly. Allow the child to verbalize his fault without feeling cornered will give him the opportunity to better understand why it was stupid. He might also recognize that he or she needs help and didn’t dare ask. It also allows you to affirm your confidence in him, despite his “gap”, and will help him to be stronger and more confident. In any case, offering your child an opportunity to explain himself is essential so that this lie (and others) happens again as little as possible in the future. After all, in a trial, the accused always has the right to defend himself.

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The difficult management of lies in education

Whether they are called canards, salads, mythos, stories or even sales pitches (among those who have the most chastised language), lies are inevitable. And at all ages. Children’s lies often have only one objective, to hide a stupidity or an oversight and to avoid being scolded. If some children lie “like tooth-pullers”, in others it is very rare. Parents sometimes find it difficult to know how to react well when faced with a lie from their child and whether it is an anecdotal event that would almost make us smile, or the attempt to cover up something serious or potentially dangerous. But in any case, they should never be ignored. Similarly, it is generally recommended to always tell the truth to children by taking the time to explain things to them, especially when it comes to events that will have an impact on their lives and their daily lives. No need to tell them that Santa Claus and the little mouse are you…

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