web analytics
May 4, 2015 / 15 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


The Truth About Lies


Schonfeld-logo1

Your mother just knitted a beautiful pink hat for your seven-year-old daughter. The hat, unfortunately, is also extremely itchy. To be honest, you wouldn’t even want to wear it yourself. But you tell your daughter, “Say thank you. Tell your grandmother how much you like the hat.”

Your daughter looks at you with a quizzical expression and whispers, “But, Mommy, it’s so itchy. You always tell me not to lie. Why should I tell her that I love it?”

“Well, just say thank you. The color is pretty. Let her know that you like the color,” you tell your daughter, hoping that your mother won’t pick up on the fact that your daughter will not leave the hat on her head.

 

Lying: Ages and Stages

Preschool

Fact and Fantasy

All kids lie. It’s a natural part of development, especially when children are just beginning to develop language skills, as they are trying to distinguish between fact and fantasy. Two and three-year-olds are so caught up in their imaginary worlds they do not even realize that what they are telling you is not reality.

A friend of mine once told me that her daughter, Yael, came home from playgroup and excitedly said, “Mommy, they got a new playground in school! There are new swings and a purple slide and a great seesaw. I had so much fun during playtime today.”

Yael continued to describe all the wonderful things she did in playgroup that day. The next morning, Yael’s mother, energized by the news, approached the teachers, “Yael told me all about the new swings and seesaw. I wanted to come in and see it, if that is okay.”

Yael’s teachers stared at her mother and shrugged their shoulders. “Umm, Mrs. Schapiro, we didn’t get anything new for the playground.”

Yael’s mother was embarrassed by the incident, but she realized that Yael was not intentionally lying to her. Instead, she was creating a world of fantasy. She wanted there to be a new playground at school, so she made one up in her head. This is natural and positive for kids to do. Therefore, we have to distinguish between “lies” (told for the benefit of the person speaking in order to avoid punishment or get someone else in trouble) and “fantasy” (told because the child has imagined something desired).

 

School Age

Don’t Set Up for the Lie

School age children understand the difference between reality and fantasy. And, at this stage, many children begin to lie in order to avoid negative circumstances. In this case, it is important not to set up your child for a lie. In other words, if you know that your child did not brush his teeth before bedtime, do not ask him, “Did you brush your teeth?” In this instance, you are simply setting him up to lie to you. Instead, take him by the hand and say, “Let’s go brush your teeth.”

The same goes if you see your daughter sitting guiltily with crumbs on her chin and an empty box of cookies on her lap. Don’t ask her, “Who ate the cookies?” Instead, point out that you noticed she ate the cookies and that it is before dinner time and you would like her to talk to you about it before because now she will not be able to eat dessert.

 

Finding Ways to Tell the Truth

When you want your child to say thank you for gifts that he or she doesn’t like you are teaching gratitude (and manners!). But, how do you reconcile what seems like lies with your “no lie policy?”

You can tell your children that they can still say thank you regardless of whether they like the present; however, they simply need to find something (such as the color of the hat) that they like. They need not say, “I love it!” Instead, they can say something like, “It was so nice of you to think of me.” This allows your children to be truthful without having to be dishonest.

 

Teenagers

Teach the Art of Apology

As your children get older, they need to understand the consequences of lying. After all, as they develop, lies become bigger and more significant. Therefore, while it continues to be important to prevent lies from happening, you also need to teach your children how to apologize if they do lie.

If your children admit to a lie, teach them that lying is an error (one that should not be committed), but if it happens, they can apologize the way that they would for a different mistake. If they screamed in anger at a sibling, they would say, “I’m sorry, Malkie, for screaming at you. I lost my temper and that wasn’t fair.” In the same vein, they can say, “I’m sorry Mommy for telling you that I cleaned my room when I really had not. I was trying to go play that baseball game with Shmuel and I didn’t want to stay to clean my room.”

On your end, you can accept the apology with grace and kindness, but there should be consequences. Your child should clean his or her room and perhaps sit out a different baseball game.

 

More Tips for Avoiding Lying

Be a role model. Don’t tell your child that the cookies in the supermarket are not kosher just because you don’t want to buy them. Instead, follow your own rules and tell him the truth.

Praise honesty. Instead of always pointing out the lies, applaud their honesty if they tell you that they spilled the milk or accidentally tripped their baby sister. This will encourage them to continue to tell the truth.

Stay calm. If you are frustrated about a situation, your child will be more likely to place blame on someone else in order to avoid your wrath. If you see the baby crying and suspect someone might have pushed her, instead of screaming, “Who pushed the baby?” calmly say, “Can you explain to me what’s going on? The baby seems upset.” This will encourage an environment of truth telling.

About the Author: An acclaimed educator and education consultant, Mrs. Rifka Schonfeld has served the Jewish community for close to thirty years. She founded and directs the widely acclaimed educational program, SOS, servicing all grade levels in secular as well as Hebrew studies. A kriah and reading specialist, she has given dynamic workshops and has set up reading labs in many schools. In addition, she offers evaluations G.E.D. preparation,, social skills training and shidduch coaching, focusing on building self-esteem and self-awareness. She can be reached at 718-382-5437 or at rifkaschonfeld@verizon.net. Visit her on the web at rifkaschonfeldsos.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Truth About Lies”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
A Gaza building, reportedly used by Hamas, destroyed by the IDF on August 26, 2014.
NGO Monitor: Negative Testimony from ‘Breaking the Silence’ Meets Quota for Grant Makers
Latest Sections Stories
Safar-050115-Califlower

Cauliflower is one of my favorite ingredients to cook with – it blends so easily into whatever dish I am preparing.

Eller-050115-Fruit

For all their deliciousness, frozen beverages do not stand the test of time well, as any ice or frozen fruit thickening your drink will melt into a watery mess.

blintze_cake

“DouxMatok’s technology will allow for a reduction of 30-60 percent of sugar in a product, depending on the application, and with no effect on taste.”

Schonfeld-logo1

How do we ensure that our students aren’t studying for the grade or the end-of-the-year pizza party? How can we get them to truly want to learn for learning’s sake?

The message being conveyed is that without “flour,” without the means to support oneself and one’s family, one’s focus on Torah will be impeded by worry.

Someone close to us knew that you were good at saving marriages and begged us to give therapy one last chance,

Rabbi Pinni Dunner and Holocaust survivor Heddy Orden.

He wrote a strong defense of shechitah in which he maintained that the Jewish method of slaughter had a humanitarian influence on the Jewish people.

New York State Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul will be the keynote speaker at the Westchester Government Relations Legislative Breakfast on Friday, May 8, at 7:45 am at the Jewish Community Center of Harrison.  The annual event, which brings together important elected officials and the Westchester Jewish community, is sponsored jointly by UJA-Federation of New York […]

“Like other collaborative members, we embarked on this journey as an opportunity to build on New York leadership’s long commitment to expand and diversify opportunities for Jewish teen engagement,” says Melanie Schneider, senior planning executive with UJA-Federation of New York’s Commission on Jewish Identity and Renewal

The poetry slam required entrants to compose original poetry with powerful imagery and energetic rhythm bringing their poems to life – making it palpable to the audience.

“I was so inspired by the beautiful lessons I learned and by the holiness around me that I just couldn’t stop writing songs!” she says.

More Articles from Rifka Schonfeld
Schonfeld-logo1

How do we ensure that our students aren’t studying for the grade or the end-of-the-year pizza party? How can we get them to truly want to learn for learning’s sake?

Schonfeld-logo1

But Pi Day is worst of all
I want the extra credit bad
But trying to remember many numbers
makes me sad.

The teenage years are not about surviving. They are about thriving.

She wasn’t paying attention to what the child did when the mother was not in the room. Rather, her main focus was on what the child did when the mother returned.

When any student in the building is in danger of failing, the equivalent of tornado warning sirens should wail around the school.

“If you don’t stand straight, you’ll never get a husband.”

A lot of people have heard about dyslexia, a learning disability that concerns reading.

Because birth order can affect most children in similar fashion, there are things you can do to help your children overcome weaknesses that birth order has thrown their way.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/parenting-our-children/the-truth-about-lies/2013/09/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: