Monday, March 25, 2013

How We Deal With Lying

As we have transitioned away from authoritarian parenting, we have moved away from using any punishments against the children. One particularly difficult situation for us to get our heads wrapped around was lying. We thought, trust is everything, lying is bad, there has to be some sort of consequence, right?

The approach we found worked best to stop lying, was to always trust them and to stick to our no punishments policy. Here's why. Before, when Josh (8y) would come to us with the truth about something negative (say he broke something) he had been met with a negative reaction from us (anger, yelling, belittling, spanking). Can you imagine how scary that must be for a child? Naturally he became less inclined to come to us with bad news for fear of our reaction.

Then the poor boy, we brought the fight to him with questions like "Did you break this?!" to which he'd respond "No, I don't know what happened." and then he'd be punished for lying. He was punished if he told the truth, and punished if he lied. How confusing.

It has taken time for us to rebuild trust, specifically rebuilding Josh's trust in us. We had to extend trust even when we 'knew' Josh was telling a lie. We had to prove ourselves to be a safe place for him to come to with anything.

No comments:

Post a Comment