Lying for Love and attention.

I was not a pathological liar as a child, far from it, but, I told many lies as I walked up the path of awareness and discovery of self. My lies were not told to deceive, no, it was an expression of self-worthiness, love and compassion. I told lies to protect people I care about from having any kind of doubt or disappointment in me. I knew lying was wrong, but, I lied anyway. My parents were not liars, in contrary, my father was as blunt as blunt could be and my mother had her dignity to protect. I grew up amidst people who believe honesty is a virtue but, I still lied. No one taught me to lie neither was I influenced by my peers.

I lied on many occasions. As a kid, food was my first love and I lied to eat as much as I wanted. I lied to escape punishment and I lied not to get people angry.

I cannot remember when I actually started lying. I know I got away with some and I got caught many times. I then grew into perfecting my lies out of pure childishness and imagination. I was not wayward, nor was I a truant. As a matter of fact, I was a bit of an angel, I was obedient, attentive at school and ran errand happily. I was a good example in my neighbourhood, however, all these did not stop me from telling lies to people I cared the most about.

My lies as a child were not that harmful, they were those little lies you could excuse a child of 8 for, but, as I entered my pre-teen, I shaped up the lies I told. Among my peers, I told a tailor- made and personalised lies. I lied about latest fashion I did not have, about shops I had never been and about food I had never tasted. Then, no one knew I lied except me. I faked reading just to be free from chores, I chose to be different and I sometimes lied to be that person.

My lies were all out of imagination, exaggerations, cover-ups and make beliefs. My teenage years went pretty smooth, I was in a state. A state of self-discovery, I grew to know myself as a valued member of my community, I had a responsibility to behave within the code of conduct of my community and I learnt to take responsibility for my actions. I could not afford to be seen as a liar. I tried hard to be accepted among my peers and I did crawl back to my shell occasionally whenever I found myself in situations I didn’t like, but, I did lie in awkward moments, but, nothing out of ordinary.

According to Child psychologists, children start lying around the age of 3, so don’t be alarmed if your little darling lies, your child might just be trying out a lie to see if he has the power to control things or make things happen. It might be out of fantasies and or imagination. Children build a world which is sometimes out of reach in imagination and research as shown that this is an important aspect of learning and development.

Lying as bad as it may sounds, can be something children experiment with. It is morally wrong and helping your children overcome the shame is more important that reprimanding them. I overcame the act of lying as a child because I was not tagged “liar”. If I had been, I would have thought of getting better at it. Peer influence can also contribute to lying.

No one likes to get in trouble and when you caught your child lying, you should read in-between lines, if you scold a child for lying time and time again, such a child will find a way to be a better liar and might grow up lying to achieve goals in life.

It is also not advisable to preach about lying every time, I am guilty of this, I tell my children the dangers of lying spiritually and socially that it has become a cliche. It is important to let your children know the consequences of lying, but, preaching about it every time you caught them lying has its downsides. Chances are, your child knows lying is socially frowned upon, going on about it again and again would not help the situation.

Everyone loves attention, part of the reason your child lies is to seek your attention. As parents, we need to renew our love where our children’s emotions are concern. Knowing that you love your child is not enough, tell your child you love him does a lot in shaping perspectives. Give loads of cuddles, kisses and reassurances.

To encourage your child to stop lying, you need to be prepared emotionally, plan on what to do, respond to your child’s emotional needs. Create a loving atmosphere where your child can tell you anything. If your child is afraid of you, he might need to lie to protect himself from your wrath. Screaming, shouting and smacking would only push your child to a corner where he or she picks up more lies and deceits.

Do not shame your child or threaten your child when you caught him or her lying. Think of your child’s reason to lie and provide solutions. It is natural to feel disappointed in your child for lying, but, don’t let your disappointment cover up your reasoning. Talk to your child, let your child know how unhappy he has made you for not sticking to the truth.

Help your child to know that it is not necessary to lie. Ask your child questions about his or her feelings. Let him know he can trust you enough to tell you anything and everything.

Talk to your child, create time to know your child and work with him or her to say the truth always. Understand why he lied and look inward to solve the problem of lying. Let your child know you are worried about many things in life and lying top the list.

How do you manage lying? Please share your experience and thoughts

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