What to do about lying...

mom2many

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<t>Lying. The big L. All parents have been there or will be there at some point: when their little one looks up at them and says “No, mom, I didn’t just break the plate.” The plate we clearly saw them drop.<br/>
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Why do young kids lie? Why do older teens lie? I think the answer is the same at any age.<br/>
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A few of my children are quite good at it, a few I have to pay closer attention to, and then there are the two who can't lie to save their lives. I mean, bright neon letters pop out of the top of their heads screaming “liar.” They would not be the people you would want to be in charge of national secrets. <br/>
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In most cases where young children lie, it’s to tell stories. They want their adventures to sound better than they really are. My 5 year old is the king of this one. Vegetarian vampires were his favorite for quite a while, and they were always intertwined with something that really happened . . . only better.<br/>
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In many cases, as long as young children understand the difference between fantasy and reality, it shouldn’t be a problem. But what if they are just straight out lying? What then? <br/>
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In my house, a lie is punishable and the truth will set you free. That doesn’t mean that their actions won’t have consequences if warranted, only that the punishment will be far smaller if the truth is told.<br/>
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When you catch your children lying, the first thing to do is figure out why they're lying. Is it fear? Fear can be a great motivator when kids choose a lie over the truth. Self-preservation is a strong need in many young children.<br/>
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What if they are protecting someone? Older children often do this for their younger siblings, as nobody wants to be the rat in the family. Getting my own kids to understand that the only person they are hurting is themselves took some time and a lot of patience. <br/>
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How about those lies that just slip out? The ones where they answer the question before they have actually thought it through. We have all been there at one point or another. I know I have been guilty of it myself. When it happens with my kids, though, I will often just repeat the question. I try to give them a chance to correct their answer. In most cases that is all it takes. <br/>
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More than anything, I believe that kids lie because they love us, they want our approval, and they do not want to disappoint us. It's humbling when you really think about it, because they just cannot grasp that no matter what they do, we will always love them. However, love and approval do not always have to go hand in hand.<br/>
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Here are some good conflict resolutions when faced with lying.<br/>
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* Do not play the blame game. Stick to the topic at hand.<br/>
* Do not cross-examine. This will only cause them to close themselves off from you.<br/>
* When asking the question, try not to put them into a position where they feel a lie is needed. <br/>
* Remember when they are truthful to be appreciative of the truth. That doesn’t mean the action isn’t punishable.<br/>
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This doesn’t mean your child will never lie again in their lives. That’s not realistic. But a good foundation will make it so that in the right situations they will feel comfortable coming to you with the truth.</t>
 

tadamsmar

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Work on prevention. Find the positive opposite and praise it. The postive opposite to lying is honesty. Honesty should be praised, respected, honored, celebrated.

Establish consequences. Honesty leads to retaining privileges, getting to do the things you like to do. If you lie you will cause privileges be withdrawn.

More on prevention. Relatively severe punishments tend to increase lying and general sneakiness, so learn how to make relatively mild punishments optimally effective, to get more effectiveness bang for the severity buck (Learning how to do this is a big topic of it's own). (Mild punishments are short periods of grounding or privilege withdrawal.) Proper use of positive attention to good behavior will reduce the need for punishment.

Do not get upset by lying, just apply the consequences in a matter of fact manner. Don't get too hung up on the moral dimensions of lying with young kids.

It tends to be counter-productive to accuse your kids of lying or question their honesty. Typically better to just apply consequences in clear-cut cases of lying.

Finally, become familiar with the fact that essentially all adults lie, it's part of the fabric of social intereactions and there are practical reasons for this. Teenagers will figure this out (or related facts) at some point and you need to help them understand this without them becoming excessively cynical about it.
 
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Mom2all

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I am the same with the the truth will set you free rule... kinda. Your not punished for true accidents.. so lying causes a punishment that wouldn't happen over an accident. And if you do something deliberate.. than lying will only make it 10x worse. Works for 4 out of 6.. the other 2.. well I'm still working on.
 

akmom

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My oldest daughter doesn't lie at all. I can't remember a time when she has lied. I just don't think it ever occurred to her. She doesn't joke or comprehend jokes either. It makes me wonder if lying and joking stem from the same part of the brain that is "verbally creative," if you will! My daughter is talkative and creative in other ways, but lying has just never happened with her.

Now my 3-year-old son has mastered lying, and he has also mastered an adorable grin which he flashes when he perceives that we are catching onto his lie. He lies and he knows it!
 

parentastic

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tadamsmar said:
Work on prevention. Find the positive opposite and praise it. The postive opposite to lying is honesty. Honesty should be praised, respected, honored, celebrated.
It depends how.
Praises do increase wanted behavior, but they also develop an extrinsic motivation. Which means that the more you praise a behavior, the less likely you are to see that behavior happen <I>when there is no reward or praise to be received for it</I>. The idea is to develop <I>intrinsic</I> motivation instead.

There are ways to praise for a principle (rather than a behavior) without this effect. To do this, the goal is to get the child to feel pride at himself for his own behavior, rather than seek the pride of their parents.
For this:

<LIST>

  • <LI>
  • Use description, not judgment. Don't say "good job!" because this implies you have evaluated their job. Instead, you can say: "This is what I call being honest and true." (don't add a judgment after naming the value you observed. It's enough to have noticed it and to have named it for your child).</LI>
    <LI>
  • Praise the value, not the behavior, and not the child him/herself. Saying "You are a good boy" is damaging on the long run, because it means when he is not doing what you praised him for, he personal integrity is compromised. (i.e., I am not a good boy). A child should never feel like his/her self-identity or self-esteem is <I>conditional.</I></LI>
    <LI>
  • Finally, praises also send an underlying message: it says that when you do not behave the way the parent wants, then the parents isn't loving. (Rewards are the flip side of love withdrawal, basically). And that's <I>conditional love</I>. To grow properly, children need <I>unconditional love</I>. This is why praises are a double edged sword. Parents should be careful to use praise in a neutral descriptive way, without judgment associated with the child herself being good or bad, so that they don't think the love they receive is conditional. See "Unconditional parenting" from Alfie Kohn for the details.</LI>
</LIST>
tadamsmar said:
Establish consequences. Honesty leads to retaining privileges, getting to do the things you like to do.
No. There shouldn't be a price tag associated to any behavior that should be normal and expected. People shouldn't lie because they respect each other and when we respect each other, we don't lie to each other. NOT because we don't want to lose a privilege!
Also, a child should be <I>entitled</I> to do the things he likes to do (just like any human being), <I>as long as it is within the proper boundaries we set</I>. Just like we, as adult, as entitled to do whatever we want, within the boundaries of social conduct and of course within our rights to do so, while respecting our neighbors. Children have the same needs we do.

tadamsmar said:
If you lie you will cause privileges be withdrawn.
...Which will cause children to find new more elaborate ways not to be caught lying, instead of actually reflect on <I>why</I> we shouldn't lie in the first place. Instead, a parent can curb lying be getting at the root cause: just like mom2many said, the question is: <I>why is your child lying to you?</I>
If you can respond to that, <I>together with your child</I>, then she will learn that it's okay to really say what happened.

tadamsmar said:
More on prevention. Relatively severe punishments tend to increase lying and general sneakiness, so learn how to make relatively mild punishments optimally effective
Indeed, but mild punishments can also be replaced by real heart-to-heart communication base don the root cause of the lying, and THAT will be optimal (although, I do agree that it takes some skills and you need to know how to do this properly - it's not easy to do when you haven't had the proper training. Read Faber &amp; Mazlish's or P.E.T. book!).

tadamsmar said:
Do not get upset by lying, just apply the consequences in a matter of fact manner.
...Which assumes that you KNOW your child is lying. That will be the case at first... and then your child will learn how to lie better and not get caught. Is it really what you want?

tadamsmar said:
Don't get too hung up on the moral dimensions of lying with young kids.
On the contrary. Human beings are moral beings, not just dogs and pigeons to "train". Although I agree that at 2 years old, that discussion won't go very far, at 3 or 4 years old, the child is plenty able to follow and understand a heart-to-heart about lying and respect.

tadamsmar said:
It tends to be counter-productive to accuse your kids of lying or question their honesty. Typically better to just apply consequences in clear-cut cases of lying.
Oh? And what if you are wrong and your child <I>did tell you the truth</I>? It's not always clear cut, and you won't know what happened until you communicate. It's so typical of behaviorists: let's NOT communicate and just apply the recipe!
I agree about not accusing children of lying. It's more productive to<I> have a two way dialogue</I> with them. Reassure them that you won't be mad and when you do get the truth, don't punish: instead, you can now focus on <I>how to repair </I>what was done, in a positive and empowering way.

tadamsmar said:
Finally, become familiar with the fact that essentially all adults lie, it's part of the fabric of social intereactions and there are practical reasons for this.
And the more you do it in front of your kids, the more they will learn to do it too.

tadamsmar said:
Teenagers will figure this out (or related facts) at some point and you need to help them understand this without them becoming excessively cynical about it.
Hum, I wonder why they become cynical about it, looking at the behaviorist "solution" to lying that they would have lived all their lives before becoming teenagers? :rolleyes:
 

tadamsmar

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I think the notion of emphasizing respect for others is a great idea. That's probably the single most important thing a parent should do.

Parents often focus on what to do when a kid it lying, etc. But the most important thing is what to do when the kid is respecting others. All too often, parents take it for granted.
 

jollysmith123

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Be honest as a person and the kids will learn honesty from you. Also appreciate honesty and people who tell the truth. Do not be too strict or irrational, this will lead the kids to lie. Teach them the importance of telling the truth and dont be too harsh on them when they do so.
 

akmom

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Ah, I had to go through that intrinsic motivation training in order to volunteer in my daughter's classroom. The school has a no-praise philosophy. We seriously can't tell a child that they are doing a good job or being bad. It was so incredibly awkward at first. But it's amazing how kids respond.

Instead of getting tied up in whether their work is "good" or "needs improvement," giving them neutral feedback seems to prompt to them to explore possibilities and really invest further into what they are doing. The result is improvement, because the student wanted to, and not because they were ordered.

However, I don't think it suffices as a universal parenting or teaching technique. There are a number of students who do not engage intellectually in their work. They only respond to the same yes/no direction you give toddlers. Maybe it's a maturity thing; they're kindergarteners after all.
 

parentastic

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akmom said:
Ah, I had to go through that intrinsic motivation training in order to volunteer in my daughter's classroom. The school has a no-praise philosophy. We seriously can't tell a child that they are doing a good job or being bad. It was so incredibly awkward at first. But it's amazing how kids respond.

Instead of getting tied up in whether their work is "good" or "needs improvement," giving them neutral feedback seems to prompt to them to explore possibilities and really invest further into what they are doing. The result is improvement, because the student wanted to, and not because they were ordered.
Yes, exactly.
I am really happy to hear that schools are now starting to implement these kind of policies. Things are finally changing, after a lot of solid work and new knowledge in developmental psychology. Awesome!

akmom said:
However, I don't think it suffices as a universal parenting or teaching technique.
Indeed, it has to go hand in hand with listening skills, problem solving, attachment, etc. It's a whole.

akmom said:
There are a number of students who do not engage intellectually in their work. They only respond to the same yes/no direction you give toddlers. Maybe it's a maturity thing; they're kindergarteners after all.
It is also often heavily tied to how they are parented at home.
If they are in a no-praise policy at school to develop their intrinsic motivation, but they are also raised in a behavioral way at home, then the latter is destroying the benefit from the former. For these students, we would need to intervene both on their parents (giving them the kind of training you received), but also we would need to find out why they aren't intellectually motivated with their work: is it interesting to them? How are their other needs met at home or in school? Are they delayed in their development? etc.
 

tadamsmar

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Mom2all said:
And if you do something deliberate.. than lying will only make it 10x worse.
And, from another thread:

bssage said:
I think they need to understand the law of escalating consequences.
This sort of thinking is probably pretty common among parents. However, research shows that relatively mild punishments are optimally effective and that more severe punishments just add unwanted side effects. It seems to me that thinking in terms of "escalating consequences", "the punishment should fit the crime", "eye for an eye", etc. just leads parents toward using more severe punishments.

Perhaps parentastic is right that you should avoid punishment completely in favor of other methods. But if you are going to use punishment, be smart about it.

The sort of things that make these mild punishment more effective are: (1) punish immediately after the offense (2) never use it as a threat.

By effective, I mean that it is effective in reducing the unwanted behavior in the long run. I am assuming that is a parent's only goal when they punish.

By mild punishments I mean short periods of taking away privileges or grounding. Multiday restrictions tend to not be more effective than shorter restrictions, all they do is build resentment.

Parents will say something like "what about if my kid runs out in the road?". For something like that, no punishment is sufficiently reliable. You need to closely monitor a kid when there are such hazards.
 

parentastic

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tadamsmar said:
This sort of thinking is probably pretty common among parents. However, research shows that relatively mild punishments are optimally effective and that more severe punishments just add unwanted side effects. It seems to me that thinking in terms of "escalating consequences", "the punishment should fit the crime", "eye for an eye", etc. just leads parents toward using more severe punishments.
Yes, I think Tadamsmarm, you and I are now converging toward an agreement here. :D
I think the escalation is the direct consequence of using force as an approach to "teaching" (i am putting quotes because to me, this is not real teaching). When the child refuses to comply, I believe that parents who used force are now seeing their "authority" challenged and that gets them into this logic of escalation.

What I have always liked in what you have been posting here (even through my profound dislike of behaviorism) is that you do recognize and advocate how the focus on the negative is harmful or ineffective at best - even if I believe science has more than demonstrated that ignoring is not any better.

tadamsmar said:
Perhaps parentastic is right that you should avoid punishment completely in favor of other methods. But if you are going to use punishment, be smart about it.
Agreed!

tadamsmar said:
By effective, I mean that it is effective in reducing the unwanted behavior in the long run. I am assuming that is a parent's only goal when they punish.
Two remarks about this:
1) That's part of the problem. Shouldn't the goal be to arrange the problem, and not only the symptom?
but also
2) I think that sometimes, it's not <I>only</I> the goal. Sometimes it's also a way to "win", a fear of loosing one's authority, an idea that backing off (even when it clearly doesn't work) is not acceptable because it would show a weakness. Not that this is always the case at all, but I have seen this attitude very frequently, when it comes to the use of punishments.

tadamsmar said:
By mild punishments I mean short periods of taking away privileges or grounding. Multiday restrictions tend to not be more effective than shorter restrictions, all they do is build resentment.
Yes, although to be clear, <I>every punishment builds resentment.</I> The only difference (in addition to how much resentment) is whether it is visibly expressed or buried and stuffed within.

tadamsmar said:
Parents will say something like "what about if my kid runs out in the road?". For something like that, no punishment is sufficiently reliable. You need to closely monitor a kid when there are such hazards.
I am really glad you are saying this. You obviously do have a good knowledge of behaviorism and I am happy that you acknowledge how punishments simply cannot address this kind of issue and clarify that myth. It's one of the top "argument" I hear every time there is a discussion about replacing rewards/punishment with a different approach. I didn't thought we would come to a place of common ground, but it seems we can. I thank you for this. :)
You seem to have a genuine interest for child care. You should really consider reading some of the references I provided. You might be surprised and really appreciate it.
 

Mom2all

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There should be consequences to unacceptable behavior. These children are the same human beings that will live in our adult world someday and consequences are a part of that world.
Its been my experience that children lie over silly things. Accidents that no one would get in trouble for. Like spilling drink, or a crayon mark on the table. Asking them and expecting a truthful answer is a good teaching method for the bigger things that happen later in life. You teach them to own up to mistakes and correct it and people, ( in this case parents), are proud of you for that. Lie about it and get a different response. Thats what happens in real life. Your respected for owning up with honesty attempting to correct your error. I have 4 out of 6 children that are honest to the point of bluntness and 2 that are still learning. I guess I say all of this to ask, if the approach of not have consequences, to the point of being careful not to even imply that your disappointed in bad behavior teaches them better, what happens to these children who move on into the adult world where that is simply not the case? Are they prepared for the reality that your actions do cause a reaction? In a world that has become more and more focused on positive parenting alone and increasingly out of control behavior with our young people.. where are we headed?
 

parentastic

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Mom2all said:
There should be consequences to unacceptable behavior.
There are always consequences, naturally, with every single action a human being does. Every move we make, ever conscious or unconscious decision we make changes the world around us.
So when you say that there should be consequences to unacceptable behavior, I am assuming you mean that there should be <I>additional, artificial </I>consequences. May I ask you <I>why</I>?

Mom2all said:
These children are the same human beings that will live in our adult world someday and consequences are a part of that world.
But these children are also fragile human beings currently undergoing a development. Learning how to project into the future to explore possible consequences before responding to an impulse is a skill that is developed in the upper region of the brain, in the pre-frontal cortex; this region is <I>the last region to develop</I> and it truly only matures between 15 and 25 years old, in the best of cases.
Yes, it is by constant observation of action - reaction and consequences that the brain does develop these connections, which is why children must be helped to learn this skill, over the years. But it's already happening every day each time they take action, for everything. Where is the need for those <I>additional artificial consequences</I>?

It's another hidden name for "punishment", in most cases - or at least this is how I understand your statement, correct me if I am wrong.

Mom2all said:
Its been my experience that children lie over silly things. Accidents that no one would get in trouble for. Like spilling drink, or a crayon mark on the table.
Do you know <I>why</I> they do so?

Mom2all said:
Asking them and expecting a truthful answer is a good teaching method for the bigger things that happen later in life. You teach them to own up to mistakes and correct it and people, ( in this case parents), are proud of you for that.
I totally agree.

Mom2all said:
Lie about it and get a different response.
Certainly, there are steps a parents can, and should do when they realize a child is lying. However, this does not mean an artificial consequence (or punishment) must happen. Instead, the question is: let's find out why the kid feels the need to lie? And let's discuss what the effect on others, when you are lied to. How does mommy feels when you lie? What happens to our trust? our respect? These can be openly discussed.

Mom2all said:
I guess I say all of this to ask, if the approach of not have consequences, to the point of being careful not to even imply that your disappointed in bad behavior teaches them better...
No no, this is not it.
It's critical to address the issue when kids lie to you. It's not because the consequences are not helping (and really, they are not!) that you should be careful not saying you are disappointed!
On the contrary, it's imperative that you honestly say that you ARE disappointed and that it has impacted your trust. After all, THAT is the real natural consequence to their lying.

When a child is lying:
1) How old is the child? Very young children, generally before 4-5 years old, have a difficult time making a difference sometimes between what's a story and what's real. That's why they are enthralled with what happens on TV, or why they can get so scared with a movie. They need help using storytelling and dialogue with their parents to get it, and it takes some repetitions and some time, so that their brain matures.

2) If the child is older but they lie for something insignificant, like a spilled water glass, you need to challenge your usual unconscious reactions to these kind of events. Are you / have you blamed your child for other similar accidents (or situations where they thought it was an accident and you didn't) before? Have your non-verbal shown them that you disapproved or were mad? (wincing, showing anger or impatience, etc)? Have you said stuff like "You are..." ("You are clumsy", etc...)? All of these can lead them to lie because they unconsciously do not want to hurt you, disappoint you, be lectured, etc.
So you need to give yourself a hard look and you need to change explicitly: take the time to explain what an accident is, that it's always okay, and then go to reparation: help the child get a towel and clean it up with you, and make sure to act as if it's really nothing and it's absolutely normal, so they will soon learn that's it's okay to say the truth.
AND you DO have to address the lie and show your disappointment at the lie, and have a discussion about trust.

3) If the lies are important, elaborate and significant, you need to review your own parenting. Why is that child not trusting you enough to feel the need to hide or lie about something? etc.
AND - again - you DO have to address the lie and show your disappointment at the lie, and have a discussion about trust.

Mom2all said:
what happens to these children who move on into the adult world where that is simply not the case? Are they prepared for the reality that your actions do cause a reaction?
Children who are never punished, <I>but whose actions are always addressed through reparation</I>, quickly learn not to lie because they are never blamed or lectured, yet had to think themselves of what to do to make right what they did. They quickly learn that mistakes are just that, mistakes, and arranging them can be fun and empowering and they will get help to think of a solution when it happens, and they learn that they can tell ANYTHING and everything to their parents. Trust develops.
And they learn to respect other people and expect them to be truthful too, because they learned about respect when they felt the sting of having disappointed their parents before, but also the pride of developing trust.

Mom2all said:
In a world that has become more and more focused on positive parenting alone and increasingly out of control behavior with our young people.. where are we headed?
Permissive parenting does create out of control behavior for young people. But positive parenting does not, absolutely not! Positive parenting IS NOT permissive: in fact, it has a very firm level of boundaries.

When your parent is waiting for you with a punishment for every unacceptable behavior, the focus is "how not to get caught". You don't care about breaching the trust because you have "paid" for it with a punishment.

But when your parent tells you "I don't need to check, I trust you!" - THAT is hard. It's much, much more powerful. And the one or two time when you will test that, just seeing your parent disappointed can be very powerful - much more than when punishments are used.

It's all the difference between developing an external (punishments) vs an internal drive for self-control.
 
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bssage

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You guys wear me out :eek:

In regard to the OP. The crime has its own set of consequences. Being honest can mitigate those consequences is how I do things. And how my parents did things. I am clear that the consequences are for the action not the lie. But if they are honest and feel bad for the act that can reduce and even eliminate a consequence.

I want my kids to be ready for the "Real World" And in the real world consequences escalate. Consequences for stealing a pencil are different than those for stealing a car. And consequences for stealing a pencil a third time different from the first. A playground scuffle different from a knifing. I know exaggerating for effect.;) That will give you all something to multi quote.

Really a lot of the things we deal with as kids would have legal or otherwise serious consequences as adults. To that point "Escalating Consequences" If you don't think that is real. IMO your being naive. I want the kids to learn this lesson from me. I want them to learn it in a reasoned controlled environment. To be clear I am referring to consequences for the act not the lie. Again honesty can mitigate a consequence.

IMHO the reality of being honest. Is a good nights sleep. Not having you pulse race from fear of being discovered or buried in the inevitable snowball of lies that back up the original lie. It is not always the only course. But <U>most</U> often the more comfortable way to fix or lesson a mistake.

Really when it comes to lying my "go to" is setting a good example. And explaining myself to my kids when I do. I think that helps them understand the subtleties of lying. When you tell grandma she looks great even when she is laying in a hospital bed. And why we can be honest and say "you smell bad" when you do. All things that revolve around lies involve some decision making. When to lie, Why to lie, even when to give one up. This is when daddy lies: And this is when he does not. This is why: why not. Then I try and reinforce them when I see them practicing good decision making.

I think the concept itself is just to complicated to try and explain without examples.

Thats just my opinion.
 
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tadamsmar

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I want my kids to be ready for the "Real World" And in the real world consequences escalate. Consequences for stealing a pencil are different than those for stealing a car. And consequences for stealing a pencil a third time different from the first.
I think this is a common parenting mindset. Parents model their punishment system on the penal code somewhat. And, of course, the penal code has a system of escalating consequences. I am not sure that most parents think of this as getting their kids ready for the real world. I am not even sure that makes sense - confusing child development with executing the penal code arguably could do the opposite.

Anyway, my post focused completely on the goal of effectness in terms of reducing the unwanted behavior in the long run. I 100% agree with you if the parent's goal is not effectiveness of this sort, but merely to mirror the penal code as much as possible.

Also, you can have escalating consequences within the limits of mild punishments.
 
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bssage

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escalating consequences is off topic. So I am only going to say one more thing about it unless another thread is started. It is the penal system that mirrors real life in this respect. And it has more to do with what we believe is cognitive thought. After a couple of warnings they should make better decisions.
 

Mom2all

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I guess in this case, as you termed it, yes I mean "artificial consequences". Although to me, a consequence is not artificial. Its a reality.
If my 5 year old said that he didn't spill the cup I watched him spill, I'd tell him accidents happen, but because he didn't tell the truth he would clean it up himself with my disappointment clear. If he told the truth, then I would say I was proud he told me and that accidents happen and I would help him clean it up, my pride in his honesty clear. He still has to help fix it.
If my 15 year old went to a friends house knowing there would be a unsupervised party, she wouldn't be allowed to go anywhere for a long time. Broken trust means there is a payment to be met. If she called from from said party to let me know that there were no parents there and she wasn't aware before hand, I'd pick her up at the curb and the next party wouldn't hesitate to allow her to go. I know that this works.. as my daughter, starting at age 12, called me on a regular basis when she found herself in an uncomfortable situation and we'd work a way to let her slip away without losing face with her friends. My son at 14 went out to a party.. to which he found his mother standing among his friends loudly calling his name.. and marched him out to his utter embarrassment. I can be worse than the police when needed. Life is just so much easier with the truth, they mostly choose the easy life.
Children are drawn to misbehave. They believe they are invincible. Telling them the fire is hot doesn't make them not want to play with matches. The first time they get burned by one they tend to remember not to play with them again. Telling them to be careful riding the skateboard doesn't work.. after the first big wipe out.. those helmets and pads look a whole lot more cool. I don't see how lying is any different. Telling them not to lie does not burn enough to make it memorable.

But its whatever I guess we think is best for our kids. I'm not judging your choice to raise yours that way, but I believe in the fact that for the most part, my children have shocked me with an honesty that sometimes boggles my mind. I wouldn't have told my Dad what my daughters and sons have told me. I wouldn't have confessed half of what they have. Like you imply, children need to believe they are safe and loved. Mine are confidant that the truth sets them free.. or at least more free than a lie.
 

akmom

PF Fiend
May 22, 2012
1,969
0
0
United States
So when you say that there should be consequences to unacceptable behavior, I am assuming you mean that there should be <I>additional, artificial </I>consequences. May I ask you <I>why</I>?
It wasn't my post, but I'd like to defend it anyway.

One good reason is that sometimes, natural consequences take too long to manifest. Young children don't always make the connection in time to adapt their behavior. So they can develop bad habits, or really put a future burden on themselves. For example, children won't grasp the connection between bad hygiene and illness, so we might put a bitter-tasting substance on their hands to create a short-term consequence for hand-sucking. Or withhold something enjoyable until they brush their teeth, so they don't have to face the natural consequence of painful cavities or root canals later on.

Another good reason is that sometimes, consequences are just hit-and-miss. Artificial consequences help them avoid a behavior for which a natural consequence has just been elusive - which might reinforce a complacent attitude. For example, I volunteered in a kindergarten class that was baking cookies, and some kids kept eating the dough, despite warnings. As far as a I know, none of them developed salmonella from the raw eggs. But they very well could have. So we took away their privilege to participate when caught.

Other times, the natural consequences are too devastating to allow. For example, darting out into traffic. It would be absurd to risk an injury to teach a lesson. And I'm not convinced that all young children can grasp the seriousness of major injury, no matter how you explain it. In my opinion, this is one of those rare instances that warrant physical punishment, since developing behaviors based on fear-of-pain is kind of the point here.
 

tadamsmar

Banned
Jun 21, 2012
544
0
16
Using artifical consequences can help reduce behavior in the long run.

But it's very important to rely primarily on positive attention and encouragement of respect for others. Honor and celebrate respect for others.

In an overall optimal parenting system, artificial consequences plays a relatively small role even if the kid meets the criteria for oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder.

I could see that some parents could probably get by without using artificial consequences.
 
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Mom2all

PF Fiend
Nov 25, 2009
1,317
1
0
48
Eastern North Carolina, USA
I think that sometimes when a parent says they enforce rules with punishment, it makes some believe that we are all about "Do as I say or else I'm going beat you down". Thats just not the case. I punish for bad behavior. I give consequences for actions. However, we celebrate good behavior too. We praise, brag on, make silly certificates for, and reward good behavior as much as we discipline the bad.

Hard work and doing the right thing pays off in real life.

Being lazy and doing the wrong also pays off. Just in a negative way.

I rear them in that same way.

That being said.. back to the topic.. perhaps you should tell the story of the little boy who cried wolf. Its a good one for little kids.