George Washington may have said, “I cannot tell a lie. I chopped down the cherry tree,” but I’m not sure about that. Humans have an inborn tendency to lie to protect themselves. We’ve all done it. When our brain senses any form of threat, it switches off good thinking and goes into defensive mode. Kids are no different.
So, how do we get kids to lie? It’s easy. Just ask them questions such as:
- Did you brush your teeth?
- Did you talk back to your teacher?
- Did you use my tools without permission?
- Did you hit your little brother?
Wise parents abandon the fantasy that their kids never tell lies. They don’t tempt their kids to lie by asking these kinds of questions if they already know the answer. Instead, they say, “You talked back to your teacher today and I’m going to have to do something about that.”
Ironically, most kids will still try to protect themselves with a lie: “But I didn’t do that.”
“We’re not talking about that. We’re talking about the fact that I’m going to do something about that.”
“But I didn’t.”
“So what are we talking about?”
Notice that this wise parent is not giving the time of day to the kid’s attempts to lie. If this child continues to argue, the parent might use the Energy Drain technique.
“This arguing could cause me an energy drain. Are you sure it’s worth it to you? Thanks, pal. See you later.”
This situation is one in which the parent was certain about the kid’s behavior. Next week I’ll have an answer for a situation where you don’t know if your child misbehaved or not.
Listening to our audio, Love and Logic Magic When Kids Drain Your Energy will give you plenty of ideas for providing effective consequences when you’re dealing with kids who lie to you.
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