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Age 11 - 16

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“I have been using BehaviourOnline with students throughout the term with great success. It gets across important points about their behaviour and attitudes.”

Francis Johnson,
Gladesmore School,
London (8th Dec 2008)

Testimonials
29 Oct 2009

"I have pupils who keep telling lies."


Young people will often tell lies for a variety of reasons. They may feel they need to compensate for other things in their day to day existence and so choose to embelish certain aspects of their lives.
A child whose father works in a warehouse may "embelish" the father’s work and instead announces that the father works with celebrities in a media post.

The child may be compensating. The child may feel inferior to his/her peers and wish to impress them so as to remain respected and retain membership of their friendship group. This membership is highly valued by the child and so will do anything to stay part of it. The fantasy created is often more enjoyable to them than the reality of their lives. This is their coping mechanism. It helps them to avoid the painful reality.

At other times, the child may wish to elicit pity and attention and may announce that family members have died, even if they have not. Others will feel sorry for the loss and so may be kinder to the child and feel sorrow for the loss. This lie may be told simply to get attention and for others to show sympathy and care.

Some pupils may also lie as a defence. They may have learnt that they can avoid punishment if they do not accept responsibility or they blame others.

The teacher who is aware of the child’s frequent lying may need to alert the parents. Together they can deal with the issue and the child may feel less willing to profer a lie if knowing that the school and the family talk together as the lie will then soon be detected. The teacher could counsel the child and try to explain that he/she doesn’t need to resort to lying about their life and that they are respected and liked as they are. This will build the child’s confidence and self-esteem.

Other pupils may wonder why the child is telling them lies and the way this is handled will depend on their ages. Perhaps with younger children it can be laughed away and dismissed as the child just having fun and telling tall tales "like in our story books".

Older pupils will probably recognise that the child has a problem and may wish to discuss it further with the teacher.

Perhaps the teacher could present a lesson about trust and honesty in relationships and why it is so important.

by: David Allaway (BehaviourOnline) BA, Cert Ed; Grad dip (Ed Couns)