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Is My Child Lying?

Updated on December 4, 2012

You were convinced that you found an ideal secret hiding place for candies and you were about to take the daily dose for your little chocolate ''exterminator''.

Surprisingly, the supplies are missing and you find out that they were given to a hungry cat because your kid felt sorry for the poor animal.

Why does my child lie?
Why does my child lie?

While the kid is telling you the detailed story of what happened, you are looking at ''proof'' tainted all over his face and clothes, and you are surprised because the child lies with so much self-confidence, without a blink of an eye.  Don't despair, because all children experiment by twisting the truth. The more intelligent the child, the greater the number of invented stories. The severity of a lie depends on the motive behind the untruth, the age of the child and the rules of behaviour you set in terms of family.

Children start inventing things ever since the age of two, and in the fifth year of life, their imagination is so intensive that they sometimes cannot differentiate reality from fantasy. Sometimes, twisting the truth is the result of hidden desires, therefore, if your four-year-old child brings a toy from kindergarten, saying that the governess approved of it, don't proclaim the child a liar because the kid convinced himself that it actually happened, and all out of a burning desire to have that particular toy.  

Many times children lie to stay out of trouble. The worst thing in a situation like this, is to punish your child, to lecture him or to accuse him of lying, which can deepen the fear and motivate the child to invent even more incredible stories. On the other hand, if you don't react in time and you ''close your eyes'' in front of tiny little untruths, there is a great danger that lying later in life, becomes a habit. Start explaining to your child in due time, that even when he or she wants something really, really bad (whether it's visiting Spiderman or going to Disneyland), it cannot always become a reality.

When telling a story to your child, make sure you emphasize the difference between reality and the events in the story, but pay attention not to soffocate the child's imagination as it is a great teacher, just to justify the fact of not writing his or her homework. The child can tell you it drove basis for developing creativity.

Around the age of six, children realize that lying is bad, but this doesn't stop them to use untruth in order to solve a problem or avoid a punsihment. In this life period, the child plans and enriches its repertoire of false excuses, and it will try to ''sell'' the story about being ill to the a bike ''a hundred miles an hour'' to prove himself or to raise self-esteem between  its coevals.

Why does my child lie?

White lies

In order to guide the little Pinochio to the truth, you will make an example by always keeping your promises and you will never lie.

''White lies'' are untruths said in order to avoid hurting somebody or to protect oneself. When you are teaching your child to be truly honest, make sure to explain that it isn't nice to say ''Oh, your face is so wrinkled!'' to grandma or ''You're so fat!'' to the nice lady selling ice-cream, or to turn off an invitation from a friend by saying: ''You're boring, and I won't come cause I don't like you.'' You can practice games together by ''play pretending'' in which the child can learn what to say in a given situation.

Text in this article about children lying is written and partly translated from an article by doctor P.R. in The People's Health Magazine issued in 2009: Rijeka, No. 598-599. No plagiarism, please!


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    • vox vocis profile image

      Jasmine 5 years ago

      Well, it would take to much time to write a book about lies, I suppose, but a funny list of lies in a hub would certainly make many faces smile :)

      No need to apologize, my friend! Often, I don't get the notifications either :( Actually, I don't remember the last time I got a notification you published sth, but your writing inspired me and I remembered your name by heart. So, I occasionally visit your pages. Now that I know about the notification problem, I'll stop by more often :)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I apologize to you my friend! When I saw your comment on my hub today I realized that I hadn't commented for quite some time on your hubs. Part of the problem is that I'm not getting notified for every hub that I follow, so some people seem to fall between the Hub cracks. It was not intentional on my part and I'm glad you commented so I could get a wake up call.

      I love this hub! As a former teacher and single parent I could write a book about the lies I have heard from my son and my students. I never got mad because, quite frankly, when I was a kid I could lie with the best of them. :) I would usually walk them through the lie and point out the problems associated with that other words, lay out the proof and then sit back and enjoy the show.

      You did a great job of writing this hub; thank you!

    • FirstCommunion profile image

      FirstCommunion 6 years ago from US

      Very good article to read!

    • vox vocis profile image

      Jasmine 7 years ago

      Dear Patty, you just think you could never raise a child effectively, but when the child comes, everything changes including yourself. Then, you have a whole new priority to think about and effectiveness comes along with it. :-)

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 7 years ago from North America

      Thanks for this Hub! I don't think I caould ever raise a child effectively. Parents have an experience that leads to a different sort of maturity and worldview than us singles. I applaud their work in childraising. Rated up!

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Terrific advice and suggestion for parents. If only we can get the ones who really need it to read. You are right about practicing what you will say to the child. If you say it out loud you can correct your mistakes.

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      Excelent suggestions for parents, I like it when you say that you can practice what to say on situations together with your child, Thanks, Maita

    • vox vocis profile image

      Jasmine 7 years ago

      Thanks, Rose! Unfortunately, many parents forget how to set a good example for their children. I have noticed that a lot of people make promises and never keep them. Very bad example for children :-(

    • Rose Kolowinski profile image

      Rose Kolowinski 7 years ago

      Setting a good example for your children is definitely the best way teach them not to lie. Your hub offers very good suggestions for parents.