"My stepdaughter looked right at me and lied!" Let's just put this out there...Most kids have gone through a phase of telling lies. As a parent you might panic, but hang tight and keep reading for strategies on dealing with this! The first question most parents have when this happens is "Why would she lie?" We talk to our kids about the importance of being honest. We remind them that we want to be able to trust them, we even give them multiple chances to tell the truth, yet you find yourself in this situation... again.
Let's look at the "WHY" first... Most kids lie for one of 3 reasons:
1. To avoid punishment
2. To get your attention
3. To build up their self-esteem (bragging about yourself to fit in or impress someone else)
If you're in a stepfamily situation it's possible the stepchild may blame the stepparent's birth kids for misbehavior in order to gain favor with the stepparent. If she is innocent and the birth kids are guilty, then she looks like the better behaved child.
What should parents do?
1. Figure out the "why" Avoiding punishment... We're all guilty of "little white lies" if we're being totally honest (and isn't that what this blog is about?). As role models we may not always be on our best behavior and our kids are paying attention. We might: 1. Tell a friend we're busy when in reality we just don't want to go to their event
2. Ask our kids to tell someone we aren't home when they answer the phone 3. Stretch the truth about how fast we were going when pulled over for a speeding ticket
In stepfamilies, we may see some incomplete truths being shared between ex-spouses in order to either keep the peace or because of wanting to establish power over the other parent. Getting Attention (reason 2)... I have explained to parents even though we may think we are giving our kids enough attention, we need to really examine what that looks like from the child's perspective. Do we only half listen to our child while we're scrolling on our phone or watching our show? Kids will misbehave if they know that it will get them your undivided attention. After all, negative attention is better than none at all.