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Liar, Liar Pants on Fire: A Counseling Game for Children Who Tell Lies

Updated: Jun 21, 2023

Game for kids who tell lies

I am excited to introduce a new game designed to help children who tell lies. Over the years I have worked with many children who have been in trouble for telling lies, but there are many different motivating factors for their behavior. I have found that talking about it directly often leads to more lies, as they are either ashamed to talk about it or they fear being in trouble. Naturally, children who are in the habit of lying tend to lie about their lying habits.

Games are a fun, effective way to address issues with kids. The game keeps the child's defenses down, allowing them to have an open position to the information in the game. Play is the primary language for children, allowing self-expression and learning in a way that is natural for them. You can pack a ton of information in a game for kids to learn as well as provide ways for them to express themselves.

CBT game for lies

This game plays like Old Maid - whoever is left with the Liar, Liar Pants on Fire card loses the round. There are 10 different characters in addition to the Liar, Liar Pants on Fire card. You pass out all of the cards to the players. It’s likely that one person will receive more cards than the others due to the odd number of cards. Each player will hold up their cards and one player will select a card from another player's hand. If they get a match, they will lay it down on the table. This will continue with players taking turns until the Liar, Liar Pants on Fire card is the only one that remains. The player left with this card loses. **It plays best if you do NOT lay down matches when the cards are first dealt. Lay them down after a match is drawn from another player's hand.

identify the motivation for dishonesty

Each character has a different motivation for lying. The game comes with a description for each character and questions that can be used to generate discussion about the motivation for behavior as well as encourage the child to think of possible consequences for the behavior. The goal is to open discussion, normalize feelings, and help identify the client’s motivation for lying. The therapist can segue into talking about alternative behaviors that would work better than telling lies.

One reason that I am so excited about this game is that my daughter illustrated the game. All characters are original pieces of art. I may be biased, but not too shabby for a 12-year-old! I’m extremely proud of her hard work. Once I figure out the logistics, I plan to open a Teachers Pay Teachers account for her to sell her artwork.


Related Resources:

A therapy game for children to tell lies

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