As much as I love the Love and Logic parenting technique, there are some things that I feel I need to tailor for my child. For instance, I find that their approach to lying doesn’t quite work for me right now.
For one, my son is only five and I think rushing to punish the behavior prevents you from feeling true empathy because you are focused on behavior – the lie – not the underlying reason for the lie. If we are are being truly empathetic, then we should realize that children’s brains are not sufficiently mature enough for them to really understand the concept of lying. In fact, I don’t even think we should using the word lie to kids under six. I usually ask my son if he’s telling me what he wants to be true.
Attachment Parenting and Lying
Also, I find that my son hardly lies to me which I attribute to attachment parenting. According to Dr. Sears, one of the benefits of attachment parenting is that attached children do not become habitual liars because there isn’t a reason for them to do so. Securely attached kids tend feel very sure of themselves and know that their parents will still love them if they do something wrong.
Although, I am not ready to use adopt the “Love and Logic” method for lying, I think it is perfect for older kids and I will probably follow Dr. Fay’s suggestions once the little one gets older. For who are interested, here’s the “Love and Logic” newsletter on how to handle lying:
- There are few things that leave parents angrier, or more worried, than when their kids act “truthfulness-challenged.” The good news about lying is that kids do it. What I mean is that all youngsters experiment with bending the truth, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll end up becoming con men, criminals or politicians. That is, as long as we can help them see that honesty really is the best policy.
One way of achieving this goal is to apply the following steps:
Use “I feel like you lied to me” rather than “You lied to me.”
If your kid replies with “No, I didn’t!” this allows you to say, “I know…but I feel like you did.”
Help the child see lying as an index of maturity.
Achieve this by saying, “When I feel lied to, it makes me wonder whether you are mature enough to handle some of the privileges you enjoy around here, like television, your video games, and things like that.”
In an empathetic way, let the child know that privileges will return when maturity goes up.
“The good news is that when you can prove to me that you are more mature, I’ll know that it’s time for you to have these privileges again.”
Remember that parenting isn’t like a jury trial: There’s no need to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Far too many parents get snowed by their manipulative kids and begin to wonder whether they are jumping to conclusions. I recommend trusting your heart and saying, “All I know is that I feel lied to, and I know that your life will be a lot happier if you learn how to avoid leaving people feeling that way.”