Teachers Helping Parents: Eliminate Lying

  • Posted on: 19 November 2014
  • By: Tina McCoy

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Children are excited, teachers and parents are exhausted and that little elf is back to spy on the little ones. The holidays have officially arrived.

Much like eggnog lattes, interesting seasonal behaviors may be popping up here and there.  Excitement, anticipation, fatigue and chaotic schedules can set the stage, so let’s review some of the items we have learned.

  • Assess the parent-child bond:  as parents come to you, frustrated, it’s time to re-assess the bond. Remind parents that for you, it is often necessary to “pick your battles” when dealing with issues in the classroom. This time of the year it is essential to be pickier than usual. Encourage parents to do the same at home.
  • Focusing on the now: It’s so easy for parents and teachers to get wrapped up in the added responsibilities of the season. Remind parents about the importance of staying focused on the moment.
  • Routines, Routines, Routines! As a former teacher, I can remember this time of year fondly. The best thing advice I ever got was to keep everything as normal as possible. Encourage your parents to do the same.  Keep bedtimes in check, and plan ahead for the inevitable parties and late nights that are sure to come.

What’s that? Parents of your students are telling you that the little elf who’s made himself comfortable in their home is observing some new behavior in their child. Lying.  That’s right, the kids have been caught in a lie and it’s been more than once.  Working on a new behavior this time of the year is daunting, to say the least. Here are some strategies to help your parents.

  • Help the parent determine the “Why? For the Lie”:  What’s in for the child to lie. Is she trying to get something or to get out of something? Try to find a pattern in it. If the parent can do this, the next step is to direct them back to the relationship and bring up the suggestions in the first blog.
  • Determine what occurs when the child tells the truth: Is this type of behavior reinforced by the parent or inadvertently punished? Encourage reinforcement for telling the truth.  If the parent knows for sure that the child is lying, it needs to be addressed. However, making sure that the child feels safe in telling the truth is key; look at not sweating the small stuff.
  • Teachable Moments: Maker sure parents understand that this is an opportunity to teach their child to be honest, and not to belittle or to shame them.

Thank you for your continued interest in this series. Our next installment will be “Taking on the Tantrum.”  Have a very happy holiday season and a fantastic start to 2015!

This article is authored by Jeannemarie Ackerman, M.Ed. BCBA, who is a member or the McCoy Educational Consulting, LLC team. Learn more about Jeannemarie in the 'About Us' section of our website.

  "Welcome to the Secrets of Modern Parenting." Welcome to the Secrets of Modern Parenting. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Aug. 2014