Why Is Lying Important to Deal With?
Lying is a very deep rooted issue. It is an extremely self-centered act. It is done at the expense of others for personal gain. Lying must be dealt with as part of the training of the child. If you can’t trust a child to tell you the truth, how can you let them out of your sight? How can you let them move on the next steps of training.
Lying is an effort to avoid taking responsibility for my humanity. It’s a natural response … if I can get away with it. So if it a “natural response” why must we take it so seriously, because lying is addictive. Lying can become so addictive that even the person doing it has a hard time deciphering the truth. Many times in residential program the children have been so conditioned to lie they have to be retrained to tell the truth.
A child must be taught to work on thinking out his response. I heard once that we shouldn’t as parents put our children in a position to lie. For example, a mom sees her young child throw a toy instead of asking “did you just throw that?” She can rephrase the question and say “I just saw you throw that toy” and proceed with the discussion. Help your child learn to discuss the whys of the situation. “mommy I threw the toy because I was pretending that it was a spaceship.” Even something as small as this can help a child process their responses. It is the job of the parent to help the child learn to accept the responsibility for his unacceptable behaviors and part of teaching responsibility. We want to raise children who are trustworthy so we must take lying very seriously.
Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on lying.
Why Does My Child Tell Lies?
To deal with this difficult topic in parenting we must start by asking the question, what is lying? International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Electronic Database defines a lie in this way; “In its very essence, a lie is something said with intent to deceive. It is not always a spoken word that is a lie, for a life lived under false pretenses, a hypocritical life, may be a lie equally with a false word.”
So why do lies happen? For children it may simply be to get out of trouble or an over active imagination. For teens it may also add for appearances sake, they want to please their peers or not want to feel bad about themselves.
Thirdly, we can ask where do lies come from? John 8:44 says this, “For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.” Meaning, we all have a sin nature so it is natural for us to immediately resort to lying when we are caught at something. We must be trained to be truth tellers.
Now that we have answered these three important questions check back the rest of this week for answers on dealing with lying.
It’s About Love- Not Like
Love is an action word. It is not an emotion, it is something we do or something we live out. Every phase can have things not to like if we choose to focus on them. Babyhood is the constant need or sleep deprivation. Toddlers are always pushing back against the rules. Early teens are struggling with self-image or are moody. Later teens feel as though they know it all. Thankfully we can role model what Christ did for us. He loved us when we were unlovable, ungrateful, and in sin. Thankfully we also have a guide for how to love in 1 Corinthians 13. “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”
This is a great verse for us to have up in front of us especially on the hard days. Remember parenting is about communicating and modeling God’s love to our children, not about like.
Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.
When Parenting Gets In The Way Of My Schedule
If there is one thing that gets interrupted in a parent’s life it is their schedule. From the first day a baby comes home, life will never be as the parents once knew it. After the newborn phase we can even attempt to keep our children in a schedule but there will be changes to it as life happens, such as a child getting sick. If we are Type A personalities it may be more difficult for us when something rocks the neat little schedule we have going. The Type B personality may find it difficult that their child does need routine. Parents can’t just pick up and go where they want anymore. As children get older the family schedule may be more focused on the kids’ activities, such as sports or youth group events, etc.
One way to fight feeling resentful is to make sure that you are first and foremost taking time with God. Secondly, that the spouses are getting their quality time together. Make sure there are date nights on the schedule. During a difficult season, make sure that there are also fun times with the family. It is amazing what a little fun family activity can do to relieve stress but also help to put perspective where it needs to be.
Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.
The Middle School Years
There are seasons during parenting that are more difficult then others, some find the toddler years extremely difficult, others dread the teen years. Many find those middle school years extremely unlikable. I for one am one of the unusual people who happen to love those tween/early teen years. Maybe my heart goes out to them because of my personal middle school struggles. Middle schoolers tend to be particularly moody probably due to all the hormonal changes as well as social challenges facing them. I have literally had parents tell me that they felt like their son had a brain transplant at thirteen, he simply wasn’t their child anymore. The case was more that he wasn’t A child anymore and was trying to navigate for himself what that meant. We may need to give our child an extra dose of grace, not meaning lightening up on our parenting plan but more our reactions to them, during these tough middle school years. Remember, the child who you are struggling to like is probably the one who needs you most relationally at that moment. Take some extra time with your middle schooler. Sit on their bed, debrief their day and help them to navigate this confusing time in their lives.
Listen to today’s podcast for more on this topic.