Is Child Counselor Appropriate For My Kid?
A recent study learning about parental knowledge was completed. It went into high schools and asked students who drink alcohol if their parents were aware. Also, asked the parents themselves if they knew their child was drinking. The study showed that only one third of parents were aware of it. More surprising was that the parents who suspected even knew that some of their friends drank, but thought, “my kid wouldn’t do that.”
So How Good Are Parents In Knowing If Their Child Is Lying To Them?
Let us bring this down to earth a little bit. Most kids do lie to their parents. For example, in a study of 121 high school students, 120 listed they have lied to their parents in the past two weeks. Although most kids lie, some kids lie more than others. These are the ones that you might ask; "is therapy for my child needed?"
What To Do When My Child Lies?
1. Find Out What Is Happening “Underneath”
There often is a reason why your kid is lying to you. Just like anything else, it is important to understand why. What are the reasons behind what they do? They usually do not do it for the heck of it. Try to understand them. Understand reasons. Understand the underlying reason. Are they feeling anxious? Are they feeling depressed? Are they wanting attention? Are they scare of something? Are they embarrassed?
2. Consider the child’s developmental age
Understanding the child’s developmental age is important. If a 3-year-old says, “my mom is 200 year old!” he or she is not lying, they are expressing their own subjective view. When an 8-year-old denies having been on the iPad, this is a lie. At this age, they are well aware of what they are doing.
3. Pay attention to the way your child expresses him or herself
When parents ask, “how was your day today?” often a child might response “fine”. This may be an indication on how much the child actually feels comfortable speaking to you. Additionally, it’s important to pay attention to facial expressions, body posture, etc.
4. Show your child by example
The best way you can teach your child is to show by example. If your children are watching you be deceitful or hear you telling white lies, they are learning what is okay and what is not.
5. Seek a Counselor For My Child
A counselor can be helpful when a child is telling lies that will be detrimental to themselves or others. If your child is lying about using a device vs lying about drinking alcohol; you should be able to tell what is more important or pressing than another. A counselor for your child can help them understand their thinking patterns and can help them understand the importance of not lying.
6. Help your child know the difference between the person and the behavior.
If your child is lying do not tell them they are a bad person or a liar. This will lead to shame. Shame often doesn’t deter a child from changing a behavior. Instead; let them know that they made a wrong choice and help them understand what your values are and why it’s important for you.
Ultimately, my goal for any parent is for them to not feel like their child is doomed because they lie. As children grow they learn integrity and gain skills to help them not lie. If they lie as an adult it may be beneficial for them to seek treatment with a counselor.
Nathan Peterson, Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Therapist In Bountiful
Counselor In Bountiful
Therapist For My Kid
Counselor For My Child
I have been practicing for the past 10 years. I'd like to talk about what is on my mind as a therapist. In turn, I hope to help my readers and clients.