What to do when your child lies

Learn about: What to do when your child lies from Betsy Brown Braun, MA,...
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What to do when your child lies

When kids lie, it makes parents crazy. The first place they go is oh my gosh, my child's a psychopath. But let me tell you that lying happens a lot, at a lot of different stages for a lot of different reasons. It doesn't necessarily mean you have a psychopath. It doesn't necessarily mean there's a problem. Young children lie because they haven't really learned the difference between fantasy and reality. Older children might lie because they don't want to get in trouble. The best way to do deal with lying when it happens with a young child is deal with truth telling, so when your child does tell you, mommy, I threw the baseball through the living room window, your reaction needs to be, boy am I ever glad you told me. If your child is being honest, is being forthright, is calling things as they happen - that's what you want to pay attention. But very often if we see that children are lying, it's because they're afraid of what the outcome is going to be. Parents need to be very careful that they're not being too harsh on their children, causing them to need to lie. It's something to keep in mind. On top of that, don't harp on that. Children are children. Sometimes lies aren't really lies. They're fabrications. And they're not trying to be naughty. They're trying to figure out what works and what doesn't work.

Learn about: What to do when your child lies from Betsy Brown Braun, MA,...


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Betsy Brown Braun, MA

Parent Educator & Author

Betsy Brown Braun, best-selling author of both Just Tell Me What to Say: Sensible Tips and Scripts for Perplexed Parents and You’re Not The Boss Of Me: Brat-proofing Your Four To Twelve Year-Old, is a child development and behavior specialist, parent educator, multiple birth parenting consultant, and founder of Parenting Pathways, Inc.

With over 40 years of experience in public and private early childhood and elementary education, Betsy has directed and founded school programs, taught in both public and private schools, has been a school director, and was the founding director of Wilshire Boulevard Temple’s Early Childhood Center. She holds an MA in Human Development and teaching credentials from Pacific Oaks College.

In 2001 Betsy founded Parenting Pathways, Inc. to provide guidance to parents seeking the skills and confidence needed to negotiate the often-challenging parenting pathway. She leads parenting groups, seminars, and offers private parent consultations throughout the nation.

Her bestseller, Just Tell Me What To Say, in its fourth printing,presents the tried and true tools her clients use daily to handle situations that inevitably accompany raising children ages two to six and beyond. Her second book, and second bestseller, You’re Not The Boss Of Me: Brat-Proofing Your Kidsalso in its fourth printing, is the ultimate hands-on guide to cultivating character traits that are tried-and-true "bratbusters." 

Betsy brings her vast knowledge, sensitivity, and special brand of humor to her parent consultations, to her groups, and to her presentations.

Her parenting expertise has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Cookie, Family Circle, Good Housekeeping, In Style, Parenting, Parents, Pregnancy and Newborn, Twins, Woman’s Day, and Working Mother, among other publications. She has shared her expertise on the Today Show multiple times. Other television appearances have included The Early Show, Good Morning America Now!, Fox & Friends, Rachel Ray, Dr. Phil,  The Talk, Entertainment Tonight, KCBS, KNBC, and Fox News LA. She contributes to KNX news radio on child development, and has been a guest on countless radio programs nationwide, including NPR. She writes for and has been cited in numerous websites and parenting blogs. Betsy is a frequent speaker at educational conferences, schools, and businesses.

Betsy and her husband Ray Braun are parents of adult triplets.

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