Punish Your Toddler For Lying: They Will Lie More!

No lies in this house!

Ever wonder how toddlers are hardwired inside their little brains?  I know I do all the time because these kids are strange creatures!

Lying has become a new thing to do in our house. Lying about E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G! Ben did you poop?  “No”  I smell poop “It was Addie” Ben did you squeeze your juice box all over the floor? “Nope, it was Camden”  Ben I watched you “It wasn’t me”

Oh life with a toddler!

A new study reveals a parenting revelation I never thought I would hear. The more you punish your toddler for lying to you… the more they are going to lie!

What?!  How does that even make sense?!

Damnit! I am screwed!

A study conducted by Talwar and Lee looks at two separate West African schools, one with punitive disciplinary practices, the other non-punitive. Children at both schools participated in a ‘temptation resistance program’. While almost all children  failed the resistance portion of the program, the response afterwards varied greatly. Only half of the children at the non-punitive school lied about their actions, compared to the punitive school where nearly all of the children lied. Additionally, the children at the school with harsher punishments made up more elaborate lies as compared to the other.

Harsh and severe punishments will actually increase the likelihood of a child developing a habit of lying. Consequences to bad behavior is crucial, but it is also just as important to keep a level head when communicating it to your kids.

I can certainly see how it would make sense though. Granted I am not beating my child for lying or even delivering any harsh punishment… a simple time out or “go to your room” to think for a bit is our typical course of action on the lesser offenses.

Do you think this fits for your own house?

I can certainly say it really makes sense for us!

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photo credit: Morguefile

Article Posted 5 years Ago

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