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Dealing with Children Who Lie

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Sean Gonzalez 1

Dr. Pitts

COM 121

24 January 2003

Dealing with children who lie

The telephone rings. Mrs. Smith, enjoying an evening at home with her husband and her seven-year-old daughter, Susie, notices that Mrs. McConelly, one of her clients, happens to be calling. Trying to avoid her client, she tells her husband to answer the phone and tell Mrs. McConelly that she is not home. Susie, sitting right next to her parents, realizes that sometimes lies are perfectly harmless, or so she thinks. Susie now assumes that telling a "white lie" is

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acceptable. In cases like these, children grow up thinking that being honest all the time is not necessary because of observing their parents. When lying becomes a factor, it obviously will be difficult to trust the child.

Elementary School aged children begin to lie primarily because of overly high expectations from their parents. When a parent acts too strict, the child feels obligated to do anything to please them. If a child feels that they have done something to make their parents angry, the child will try to cover it up so that they won't upset the parents. If a child gets away with lying, it encourages them to attempt it over and

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over again until it becomes a habit. After a while, if the child happens to make a slip up, they are then branded a liar. By that time, it seems as if it is already too late because now they are an expert on avoiding punishment or lying for no reason. Preventing this level of lying is important because once the child starts "taking the easy way out"; it appears as if there is no stopping them.

Meaningless exaggeration by a child can lead to a bad habit of lying. Every now and then, children exaggerate or tell "white lies" to try to impress their friends. Children possibly will exaggerate in regards to something they accomplished or about a present

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they received from their parents to appear better than their friends. Exaggerating can seem harmless but if not corrected can become a bad habit that can lead the child to lose trust in themselves and in everyone else. Children assume that others surrounding

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