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How to Encourage Truthfulness: Positive Responses to Dealing with Lies


What is a good, but positive consequence for lying?​


Depending on the age of your child, there are different consequences that would be more beneficial than others. For children who are 5 or under, brief immediate timeouts can be effective. They could sit in silence thinking about their actions, and then after the timeout (approximately 5 minutes) they can own up to what they lied about, how this affects a person, why it is important to tell the truth, and one way they can tell the truth next time. Practicing these situations with role plays makes it interactive for the child, while still acting as a learning moment for them.

For older children, taking away privileges such as favorite toys, activities or devices can be beneficial. They then must practice telling the truth and earning back trust to get their items back. Depending on the situation, if you have your child go directly to the person that they lied to and give an apology (1. What they lied about, 2. Why they lied, 3. What they will do next time, 4. Do you accept my apology) could be a great skill to learn accountability.

We hope this helps. For more resources we recommend contacting Common Sense Parenting here at Boys Town (402) 498-3028 for other parenting concerns with individuals who have been through similar things. Parenting can be such a difficult task, and we want you to know you are not alone in this. If you need anything, please don't hesitate to reach back out for assistance.


Crisis Counselor