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My Five-Year-Old Lies to Me, What to Do ?

Questioner

L

Reply Date

Apr 21, 2019

Question

What do I do when My five year old lies to me ?

Counselor

Answer


lies

In this counseling answer:

•When your child lies, do not be too harsh but ask your child to think about his/her response again carefully and to repeat it to make sure it is correct.

•You may even ask questions calmly regarding the “lie” to help teach the child clarification and reality versus imaginary.

•If you child is lying and you are sure it is purposeful, you may want to find out why he/she is lying.

•I would suggest that you encourage open communication and trust with your child.


As-salamu alaykum,

Lying at this age can be a phase which most children go through. It may be a way of testing boundaries or may be an innocent attempt to verbally decipher the truth from their perspective. For example if you ask your child “Did you clean you room” and your child says yes, and the room is not cleaned you may want to discuss with your child your definitions of “clean” versus your child’s.

At this age you may also want to discuss the differences between reality, fantasy, wishful thinking, pretending, as much of what a child says begins with his/her imagination and previous thought processes and experiences (or lack of) with the subject matter.

karim serageldin & naaila clay

At this age, children often lack the “cognitive and linguistic ability to distinguish between what is imaginary and what is real”. By modeling good communication skills yourself you can teach your child to self correct when he/she says something that is not true.

If you catch yourself in a “white lie” in front of your child (“I will be there in a minute and you actually come in 5 minutes), use this opportunity to tell your child that while you said one minute, you actually meant 5 and that you were incorrect. By showing the child that even parents are to be held responsible for their own “untruths” this can help build trust, responsibility and open communication.

When your child lies, do not be too harsh but ask your child to think about his/her response again carefully and to repeat it to make sure it is correct. You may even ask questions calmly regarding the “lie” to help teach the child clarification and reality versus imaginary.

If you child is lying and you are sure it is purposeful, you may want to find out why he/she is lying. Is your child fearful? Is your child trying to avoid confrontation? Many things can cause children to lie. I would suggest that you encourage open communication and trust with your child.


Check out this counseling video


Often times this task becomes difficult as we as parents much be disciplinarians, teachers, and a moral compass for our children. However, by gently telling your child that you know this to not be the truth and to ask your child to please rephrase the response will often result in truth telling over time. When your child admits the truth or corrects him/her self, praise your child for telling the truth.

While lying at this age is mostly a passing phase, as parents we can encourage truthful responses by direct, kind and open communication with our children regarding their shortcomings (and at this age-probably mistakes).

Your in our prayers, please let us know how you are doing.

Salam

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About Aisha Mohammad

Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word poetry projects.

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