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Saturday, October 13, 2018

Behavior Modification in Children - When Your Tween Lies

Behavior Modification in Children - When Your Tween LiesBehavior modification strategies can be specifically customized to work with tweens who develop a lying habit.

If your preteen has a problem with telling falsehoods, you need to use some detective work to help her get back on track. It's important to understand that if lying has become an ongoing problem in your home, it is probably just a symptom of a deeper challenge.

Do you understand what I'm saying? A tween lies for a reason. Then the habit becomes convenient. Then it becomes necessary to lie to back up the lies already told.

And the vicious cycle begins.

If you are like most parents, you probably find it difficult to remain calm when you discover your child is lying to you - again. And you already know that nagging your tween or yelling at him about this problem isn't helping. In fact, it could cause your pre-teen to lie about lying and make the habit worse.

So what do you do?

Start by understanding the basics of your situation.

- Do you know the 'why' behind your child's habit of lying?

Kids generally lie to stay out of trouble. However, there are two scenarios that pop up again and again which are similar, but have important differences.

1. Something accidental happens and your tween thinks he'll be in trouble because of it. So he lies to avoid the trouble. The original situation wasn't intentional on your child's part.

2. Your child decides to intentionally break a rule. She knows that if she gets caught, she'll be in trouble. So lying becomes a part of the plan from the very beginning.

These are obviously different scenarios. Effective use of behavior modification in children means recognizing the differences between these situations and customizing your parenting techniques accordingly.

That's where that detective work comes into play.

- Watch your response.

When you catch your tween lying, what is your response? Are you calm? Do you ignore it? Is your reaction over the top?

Believe me, your tween knows EXACTLY how you will react and is tailoring her lie and her approach to you based on that information.

Bottom line, when your child lies, say so. Out her. Talk honestly about the situation. Put all the facts on the table; what happened, your tween's involvement and how the lie has affected other people, including you.

You can expect your tween to try to deny (lie more?) at this point. After all, staying out of trouble is the main objective, right?

Stay calm and give your child the wiggle room she needs to come clean. This may take some practice, but your child will start to confess sooner when she knows that she won't be screamed at for lying.

Yes, there should be consequences for lying. But do make sure your pre-teen knows you value truth. Which means you will need to take a genuine look at how your whole family handles honesty and integrity. You cannot expect your tween to make truth-telling a part of his character if the rest of the family is doing something else.

Behavior modification at this point is focused on creating a home climate where your child understands that the act of lying is worse than whatever the original problem was. To do this requires as much behavioral change on your part as on the part of your tween.

Are you willing to be nonjudgmental and calm when your child shows up, in trouble? Only a child who knows she can honestly admit her mistakes and the outcome of that admission will bring both love and consequence will ever risk telling you the truth in difficult situations. This will not happen overnight; but it is definitely worth pursuing.

How does this all wrap up? Once you establish a culture of integrity in your household, child behavior modification means enforcing consequences for the lying with firmness and love.

For example...

Your daughter lies? No, she can't go to the party this weekend.

Your son lies? Hey, he will have to miss the big game tomorrow night.

Will your tween be happy with you. Decidedly not! This will be a child who will want to blame you for her troubles and avoid her own responsibility. Well, don't let her do it, Mom or Dad! Stand firm. Your job is to model and lead your tween towards the path of responsible adulthood. Not to win any type of popularity contest for parents.

Respect will enter the picture when your child realizes you are serious about standing your ground. Again, this may take time to see results, but it will be worth every effort you put into it.

After all, a lot of things in a family can change for the better once respect enters the picture.

So remember; make honesty a priority, enforce sensible consequences for acts of lying and always, always hug lots.

Both you and your child need that.

Author's Bio: 

Remember, you don't have to go it alone. Get even more ideas about child behavior modification from a mom with nearly 30 years of parenting experience. In addition click now to get your own free copy of "Behavior Modification in Children - How to Get'em Up In The Morning".

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