5 Tips for Dealing with a Lying, Manipulative Child

5 Tips for Dealing with a Lying, Manipulative Child

It can be difficult to know how to deal with a lying, manipulative child. After all, children are supposed to be innocent and honest, right?

But the truth is that sometimes kids lie. And while it may not be malicious, it can still be hurtful and frustrating.

As a parent, it's important to know how to handle this type of behavior so that your child can learn from their mistakes and become a more honest person.  

Here are some tips that can help. If you need more information, Overcomer's parenting counseling services are here to help.

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1. Acknowledge the Lie

The first step is to acknowledge the lie.

This may seem counterintuitive, but it's important to let your child know that you are aware of what they did. Some things you can say are:

  • "I know you lied about ____"
  • "You weren't honest with me when you said ____"

Otherwise, they may continue to lie because they think you don't know or that you don't care. calmly say something like, "I know you lied about doing your homework."  

2. Ask Why They Lied

Once you've acknowledged the lie, it's time to ask your child why they did it.

This gives them a chance to explain themselves and helps you understand their motivations. In some cases, kids lie because they're afraid of getting in trouble.

Others do it to avoid disappointing you. Asking why will give you some insight into why your child felt the need to lie.

You can phrase this questions by saying something like, "Can you tell me why you felt the need to lie?"

3. Be Consistent With Consequences

If your child has lied, it's important to be consistent with the consequences. This sends a clear message that lying is not acceptable behavior.

Of course, the consequences should be appropriate for the child's age and the severity of the lie.

But whatever you decide, make sure you follow through with them every time. 

4. Help Them Make Amends

Depending on the circumstances, you may also want to help your child make amends for their lie.

This could involve apologizing to someone they lied to or returning something they took without permission.

The goal is to help your child understand that lying has real consequences and that they need to take responsibility for their actions. 

5. Talk About Honesty Going Forward

Finally, once everything has been said and done, sit down with your child and talk about honesty going forward.

Discuss what honesty means and why it's important in both their personal and professional lives.

This will help them remember what they've learned and make better choices in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do children lie?

There are a number of reasons why children may lie. They may lie to avoid getting in trouble, to get attention, or to make themselves feel better. Children may also lie if they are afraid of the truth, or if they don't think the truth will be believed.

How can I tell if my child is lying?

There are a few signs that may indicate that your child is lying. These include changes in their body language, avoiding eye contact, or making up stories that are far-fetched. If you suspect that your child is lying, you can try asking them direct questions or using a lie detector test.

How should I deal with a child who lies?

If you catch your child in a lie, it is important to remain calm and avoid punishing them. Instead, try to talk to them about why they felt the need to lie and help them to understand the consequences of their actions. You can also encourage honesty by being honest yourself and setting a good example for your child.

My child is a habitual liar, what should I do?

If your child is a habitual liar, it is important to seek professional help. A therapist can work with your child to help them understand why they lie and how to stop. Additionally, there are a number of books and articles that may be helpful for both you and your child.

My teenager is lying to me, what should I do?

It can be difficult to deal with a teenager who is lying to you. However, it is important to remain calm and try to have an open and honest conversation with them about why they feel the need to lie. You can also set clear consequences for lying, such as loss of privileges or curfews. If the lying continues, you may need to seek professional help

Overcomers Counseling is Here to Help

If you are struggling with a child who is lying or if you need support in dealing with the issue, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Our counselors can help you and your family work through this difficult issue and learn how to foster honesty within your home.

Contact us today to get started. We look forward to helping you and your family overcome this issue together. 


Lying is not an uncommon behavior in children, but that doesn't mean it's okay.

As a parent, it's important to know how to deal with a lying, manipulative child so that they can learn from their mistakes and become more honest people down the road.

By acknowledging the lie, asking why they did it, being consistent with consequences, helping them make amends, and talking about honesty going forward, you can set your child on the right path.

Overcomers Counseling offers parenting counseling services. If you need guidance, feel free to reach out and start the conversation. 

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March 25th, 2023

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