Pivotal Parenting Point 
Doris  I. Mangrum
Telling The Truth

Children lie for many reasons.  They may be developmentally at a stage where they cannot distinguish fantasy from reality.  They may be trying to figure out what is real by testing the reaction of others.  They may be trying to rid themselves of painful feelings and memories.  Some children are simply modeling or copying the behavior they learned from important adults.   Children lie as a way to enhance their reputation or as a way to control others and get revenge.  Finally some children lie to get even negative attention, as it is better to have someone angry with you than get no attention at all.  Parents often don't know how to handle dishonesty and common discipline techniques quite address the problem.  A more comprehensive plan is usually necessary  since dishonesty often has several components. 

Here are some ways to deal with it:

Talk about reality and truth and how they are different from fantasy, wishes, possibility, pretend, and make believe.  Require that children use cues to identify anything other than reality.

When you hear you child "straying" - ask them to stop and then start again.  Say something like "think for a moment and start again, I'd like to hear the things you know for sure separated from those things that you think."

Some situations won't be clear and some children will deliberately lie to avoid punishment.  If you find yourself in a predicament because proof seems impossible yet you have a sense that the child is not telling the truth.  When possible, don't choose that battleground.  It's too sticky and you will usually have other clearer opportunities later.

You may withhold further discipline if a child responds properly to correction.  "If you admit it was a lie and you were wrong when I confront you, I will not further discipline you for that lie."  This approach can temporarily be used to teach a proper response to correction.

Remember that all lies have a kernel of truth.  If caught, your child will hold on to that kernel for dear life. Truth in communication is crucial to building a great relationship between you and your child and for building a citizen with integrity and trustworthiness. 

 Children Need time to Play

Many parents load their children's schedules with get-smart videos, enrichment activities and lots of classes in a drive to help them excel.  These efforts often begin as early as infancy.
Free play, spontaneous - just romping around the house, playing 'catch' with mom or dad is often sacrificed in the shuffle.
Play is a simple joy that we seem to be losing sight of.  That cherished part of childhood.  Without spontaneous play a chid can become stressed out which in turn will also stress the parents. When children are plopped in front of the videos or they lose their recess at school because they must get enough "study time" in -  can contribute to increased risks for obesityand depression.
Stop worrying about creating a superchild and work on creating a happy well rounded one. Give your child a balance of the smart videos, the extra curricular activities and balance it with plenty of time for children to be children -  and that would be accomplished through FREE PLAY. Allow children to decide what they will do next and not some video game or specially designed program.
Everyone will be happier for it.



A is for Accountability. Hold your children accountable for their behavior

B is for Boundaries.  Set specific limits, and make clear the repercussions if these limits are exceeded

C is for Consistency.  Hold to the same principles and practices.

D is for Discipline. Make the punishment fit the crime.  Never discipline in anger.

E is for Example. Children are in greater need of models than critics.  Set a good example.

F is for Forgiveness.  Practice it, and teach the importance of forgiving.

G is for Giving.  Teach the joy of giving, not only to family and friends, but to strangers in need.

H is for sense of Humor.  Keep your sense of humor.  Promote laughter with your children.

I is for Imagination. Be creative, and play with your children.  Make up stories or songs when you read and sing with them.

J is for Justice. Be fair, and insist that they be fair, too

K is for Knowing your children’s friends and their parents as well as their teachers.

L is for Listening. Listen to your children.  It will teach them how to listen to others, and their thoughts will give you insights.

M is for Morals.  Be sure your own standard of conduct is sound.

N is for No.  Use it, and mean it.

O is for Outdoors.  Provide as must outdoor activity as possible.  Teach respect for nature.

P is for Pressure.  Reduce the pressure on your children, but insist they maintain high standards.

Q is for Questions.  Pay close attention to their questions, and give simple answers unless they demand more.

R is for Respect. Show respect, teach respect, and earn respect.

S is for Source of Strength.  Share your own faith or beliefs with your children.  Faith can be their port in the storms of life later

T is for Togetherness.  Have special, designated times to be together as a family – but know when to let go, too.

U is for Uniqueness.  Understand the uniqueness of each child, and let that child be who he or she is.

W is for Words.  Keep your word.  Promises broken destroy trust.

X is for eXamine.  Examine constantly, and be award.

Y is for You.  Take care of yourself mentally, physically, and spiritually.  A happy parent helps a child to be happy.

Z is for Zowie! Who would have thought they would grow up so quickly?


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