How Can I Get My Child to Tell Me the Truth?

- User Submitted

Okay, next, next question.
Right? Um, my kid has been lying to me,
mostly small white lies that I worry as they get older, uh,
it might lead to bigger lies.
How can I trust them and get them to stop?
Yeah. So interesting question.
Uh, going back to the what I, I,
I'm gonna say a misbehavior a lie.
Let's say that misbehavior is a lie.
What's underneath the lie? Is it for attention?
See, now again, I'm going back into this curious mind.
Why does a child lie?
That's a question that every one of us should be asking,
is if my child is lying to me, if my child's angry,
if my child is, is doing drugs
or drinking alcohol, should we not be asking
what is driving the behavior?
What, what's beneath it? So my child's lying.
The question I should be asking is what,
what's driving the need for them to be dishonest with me?
I, I, again, I, I don't know the answer,
but there is an answer.
There's always a story.
They don't wanna get in trouble.
They, maybe they want something and we've said no.
So they lie because they're doing it anyway.
There's always a story.
So I would ask the question, it seems recently in,
in my interactions with you, that when we've asked, uh,
I find that you're not telling me the truth,
that you're lying to me, and, and I'm not sure about that.
I'm not sure why it does concern me,
but I more important is I wanna understand what's going on
in your world because maybe I don't
understand what's happening in your life.
Maybe you don't agree with something I'm doing as a parent.
Now, that's an interesting opening.
Maybe you don't agree with something I'm doing as a parent.
I'm actually giving them an opportunity to say something
that I'm doing wrong.
Now, as a parent, we might put up our defenses
and say, oh, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.
Right? I'm not gonna
acknowledge that I'm doing something wrong.
But the best gift we give to our children is recognize,
helping them recognize that we're
humans and we make mistakes.
And if we've done something in the past that we need to own,
that is a mistake, okay?
Own it. Because if we do, so,
we're actually modeling healthy relationship behaviors.
I made a mistake. I didn't do that, right?
Can I have a do-over? When we acknowledge our own mistakes,
we're modeling for them what is healthy behavior,
and we're teaching them how to be honest,
and we're teaching them the value of being open
with critical issues and having difficult conversations.
Our culture today is so poor at this,
that when we get into these situations,
we don't ask the question.
We don't have these conversations,
and at the end of the day, we get stuck in this
and we don't know what to do about it.
So we continue to do it, or we pull away
and we go to our devices
and we don't have the type of connections that we long for.
And so we're, we're lonelier
than we've ever been in as a culture.
There are answers.
We've got to pursue them so we can have the kind
of relationships that we long for.

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Dr. Kevin Skinner