A study carried out several years ago investigated the impact of different parental responses on lying. It was found that children whose parents used moral principles to explain to their children why lying is wrong effectively reduced the frequency of lying. A parental response involving punishment increased the frequency of lying.
Children sometimes tell cover-up lies, not to escape punishment, but because they fear that their bad behavior will stop their parents from loving them. Therefore any punishment for lying should be accompanied by reassurance. A child needs to be aware that punishment and parental love are not mutually exclusive. There is much research to show that parents who are honest with their children receive honesty in return. Make it easy for your child to confess to his misdeeds by speaking to him calmly, rather than getting angry and making accusations.
Children often say things that are inaccurate or untrue; one important reason is that they hear their parents doing it: adults frequently tell “white lies” to avoid hurting other people’s feeling that contradicts what you normally say. If the reason for such tactful conversation is not explained to him, he can’t understand why it is wrong for him to do the same.
Explaining about lying If your child continues to exaggerate the truth, it is important that you stress why telling lies is such a bad idea. If he is old enough to understand, you could try telling him the story of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf!.” Afterwards, talk about it and make sure that he understands that if you can’t tell the difference between what is true and what is not true, you might not know when something really serious has happened to him.