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Help, my daughter is a liar

By Vision Reporter

Added 22nd July 2007 03:00 AM

YOUR daughter’s habit of telling lies masks deeper issues than meet the eye.
In fact, the habit is not the problem, but a symptom to an underlying problem. Yes, her mother might be a liar, but telling lies is not a genetic trait, but a habit that is learnt and can be changed.

YOUR daughter’s habit of telling lies masks deeper issues than meet the eye.
In fact, the habit is not the problem, but a symptom to an underlying problem. Yes, her mother might be a liar, but telling lies is not a genetic trait, but a habit that is learnt and can be changed.

Dear Jamesa,
MY six-year-old daughter is giving me headache. She is never honest. She causes trouble at school and claims a teacher did it. She is quite stubborn and talkative. What hurts me most is that I never tell lies yet my daughter does. Actually, the reason I separated from her mother is that she always told me lies. Did this girl inherit dishonesty from her mother? I am getting fed up of her. She now stays with my elder sister. What do I do?
M.O

Dear M.O,
YOUR daughter’s habit of telling lies masks deeper issues than meet the eye.
In fact, the habit is not the problem, but a symptom to an underlying problem. Yes, her mother might be a liar, but telling lies is not a genetic trait, but a habit that is learnt and can be changed.

Your daughter’s behaviour might be a reflection of something amiss not only in your parenting style, but also in your family. She is part of a social network and the family has significantly shaped her. You have mentioned that you separated from her mother.

Did you remarry or you opted to remain a single father? Children are very sensitive to disruptions in family. Separation and divorce impact on the child emotionally and socially.

Just as Nancy Van Pelt, a leadership development consultant, mentions in her book, Train up a Child, what your daughter needs is not just two parents who love her, but two parents who love each other.

How much quality time do you spend with her? Do you ever tell her how much you love her? Sending her to stay with your sister might be an indication that you hardly have time for her. Does her behaviour make you see her as a burden?

Could you be transferring the anger you have against the mother onto your daughter? This is your daughter and nobody else can mould her.
When there is a disruption in family relationship, as seen in divorce or separation, members respond differently.

Children and parents respond to a family crisis uniquely. Sometimes children become stubborn to show their frustration or desire for attention.

In being talkative, stubborn or telling lies, she could be receiving the attention she craves for; attention she can neither receive from home nor from school. A negative attention is better than none! Let us share some tips:

Improve your relationship by spending more quality time with her. You cannot bond with her by sending her to your sister or to a boarding school.

Show her love by celebrating her birthdays and taking her for weekend outings. This will quench her thirst for attention.

Do not label her negatively. Instead, find out why she tells lies. Is she modelling the behaviour from adults? Point out the damaging effects dishonesty has on relationships.

No child is born with the conscience to tell wrong from right. Your daughter’s character is your responsibility and like any other virtues, character is sowed first from home.

As Dorothy Law mentioned in her poem, Children Learn What They Live, if children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.

jwagwau@newvision.co.ug

Help, my daughter is a liar

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