The truth about storytelling is that they eventually turn into to lies. See it’s cute (at first) when a kid totally makes up a story and you kind of just blow it off, but when those stories turn into little white lies, and as an adult they turn into big red lies, Houston there is a problem.
Almost every time Taylor goes into the bathroom to wash her hands she knocks the hand towel down on the floor and doesn’t pick it up, and each time we say “Taylor, if you knock the towel down, pick it up”. So one day last week she was at home with my Mom and she went into the bathroom to wash her hands and sure enough the towel is on the floor. So my Mom asked her “Taylor did you know the towel down”? And she says “No”. So my Mom says “Taylor, tell me the truth, if you knocked the towel down tell me”. So Taylor sticks to her story and so today she tells me (almost a week later) “Well Mom maybe the towel did slip down after I washed my hands and fell on the floor last time, but this time I made sure it was pulled all the way up”. I said “I know and next time be sure if that happens again to pick it up” and just tell “Exactly, what happened”.
The truth of the matter is that kids and adults lie, whether the parents are very strict and they lie out of fear of punishment or if the parent is too laid back, they lie because they can. As parents we have to figure out which category we are in and come up with practical consequences and stick to them. In so many areas of life lying has become a major problem in adults and children, here are the main reasons why children or adults lie:
- To avoid getting in trouble or punishment
- To gain the upper hand or to look good
- To protect themselves or to protect others
- To boost self-esteem
If you are a parent dealing with your child and storytelling here are a few tips:
- Keep open the lines of communication, always let your kids know that they can talk to you about anything
- Use positive reinforcement after the lie has been told and then enforce the consequences
- Don’t punish your child for telling the truth, reward them
- As a parent, let your child witness you telling the truth in tough situations and they will emulate you
Whether from a child or an adult, lying can be harmful and hard to stop once it gets out of control. As parents lets combat storytelling at whatever stage our child is, and raise them to be truthful adults with integrity and to lead honest lives.