We all want to believe in our children and want to believe that they would never lie to us or take advantage of us. We want to believe that our children are kind and thoughtful and would never do anything wrong. Guess what, they will!
You can be naive to the fact that your child will lie or do something you will not be proud of…it is inevitable. All children learn by “testing the waters” so to speak. It is our job, however, to realize this and do something about it when it does actually happen.
For example, if you think your child might be telling a lie, then call them out on it. Children will learn to lie if they get away with it. If they know that you will catch them telling a lie or you will know that they are not being truthful, then they will most likely not want to lie to you. However, if they do lie and they keep getting away with it because you believe them, then think again. They will continue to lie because they are able to without any consequences.
How about misbehavior? If you see your child misbehave with other children or if a teacher or another parent tells you that your child did something wrong or misbehaved, then think about if they actually did or not. Don’t think they didn’t because you think your child would never do such a thing. If the evidence proves they did and/or it is consistently told to you that they have, then maybe you need to confront your child and discuss what happened or what is happening. Confronting your child to be able to give them consequences to learn if they did misbehave. Don’t ignore it. Don’t think it is unreasonable that your child could do such a terrible thing. If they get away with it, they will continue to do that behavior appropriately or not.
Being taken advantage of? Doing things for them when they can do it themselves; giving them things they do not actually need, but have asked for them anyway; needing you to give them money; etc. Anything they learn to ask for over and over again, but not necessarily needing you to do it or buy it. Are your children taking advantage of your kindness, your love, your parenting? This is really something for you to consider. This may help them to stay dependent on you and not be responsible for themselves. If this is happening from when they are young, then what are they learning? For example, having to tie their shoes; are they old enough to learn and to do it themselves, but you are still doing it? Carrying a schoolbag; is it really too heavy that they can’t do it themselves? Buying them designer clothes that they really do not need? Not doing something because they do not feel well, or they do not want to?
Think about all these “kid tricks” to get you to believe them, to do things for them, to get away with and have no consequences, etc. These are things they learn, so let’s really know what they are doing, so they will be able to learn the right lessons. It can make all the difference in their future and in yours!