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Why Does My Child Lie?

Updated on February 17, 2013
Many lies are shades of gray, not meant to harm anyone.  The moderate view holds lying as a serious matter, believing it to destroy the integrity of the liar over time.
Many lies are shades of gray, not meant to harm anyone. The moderate view holds lying as a serious matter, believing it to destroy the integrity of the liar over time.

Sara's mother enters her bedroom and asks if she has seen her iPhone. Ten year old Sara says, "No, I haven't seen it." She continues to read a book quietly while her mother walks out of the room, shutting the door behind her. Sara had the phone hidden under her pillow, but she didn't want to face her mother's anger. Lying gave her time to think of an excuse, perhaps to sneak it back into her mother's purse.

Even though this is a serious lie, and most likely Sara will be found out, it does represent what most children do in similar situations. It is developmental; and, nurturing guidance through the growing years promotes skills such as independence, self-control and honesty. Parents should not over react to situations thinking their child is a potential con artist.

The greatest prevention of habitual lying is to set a good example as a parent and to have an open mind and listening ear to your child's statements. Knowing how to handle the lying will help both you and your child to get through the developmental stages of lying successfully.


What Is A Lie?

According to Sissela Bok, author of Lying, lying is an intentinally deceptive message in the form of a statement. In her book, she asks the reader what it would be like to live in a world where truth telling was not a common practice. She states that you would never be able to trust anything read or told. We depend upon others telling us the truth.

Most people believe lies destroy trust. Telling the truth is important in personal relationships and for the good of society in general. Lying misinforms those lied to and may prevent them from making a good decision. Disappointment and skepticism result from those who are deceived. Lying is a failure to communicate effectively and honestly.

Lies have the following features:

  • Communication of selected or approximate information
  • Intended to mislead or to deceive
  • The liar knows he is not telling the truth; they believe what they are telling is an untruth

Helpful Parent Resource

The Tangled Web

O what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive. —Sir Walter Scott

When a person lies:

  • The liar has to remember the lies told and must act in conformity with the lies.
  • More lies may have to be told to avoid being found out
  • His or her credibility is diminished
  • If the lie is discovered, they are less likely to be believed in the future
  • Personal integrity is corrupted
  • It may become a habit
  • Lying is used as a means to an end, it is concerned with one achieving a personal goal beneficial to them alone. It is selfish.

Good people do not lie.

What is your opinion?

Is lying moral when there is no other recourse and it is done to protect an innocent person?

See results

Reasons Children Lie

When a child is two years old, telling a little lie may be cute. However, when a child is seven and lies to her parent, it often causes a parent great anxiety. Undoubtedly, it is cause for concern, telling the truth is important, especially when it is between parent and child, but lying is also developmental.

Morality is not innate for children, although some philosophers would argue to prove otherwise, they learn through experience what is acceptable and good. Their character develops through observation of adult behavior, especially that of a parent. And believe it or not, children enjoy the challenge of discovering what is standard social practice. Lying is one of those traits children learn to overcome as they understand truth telling defines good character.

Unintentional Lie

It is almost an automatic response to a parent's questioning. For example, the dad who yells, "Who tracked mud all over the carpet?" will probably hear their kid reply, "Not me!" I know I said this as a child, and can remember saying it even when I knew I was guilty. The child simply desires to protect themselves at the time.

Anxiety or Fear

If the consequences to lying are physical or verbal abuse, the child will lie out of fear. The anxiety related to this type of response is high and self-inflicting due to the worry and stress of knowing what is to come as a result. Punishment is unfavorable in these circumstances, positive discipline is what is needed to provide guidance.

Avoidance

Remember when you told your mom that you had already done your homework and you knew it never came out of your backpack? Why do children tell such outright lies? It may be due to the child's inability to comprehend the subject. Failure is a possibility so why fight it? Or, they simply just don't want to do it.

Peer Acceptance

Movies geared towards teens favor themes surrounding social acceptance, especially through lying. The popular issue of being "da bomb, wicked, cool, bad, etc." among friends is vital at this age. Scripts follow a character who finds himself lying to achieve the approval of peers, but usually they end up discovering out how wrong it is to lie.

The Authoritarian Parent

A parent who believes they must control their child by restricting activities, actions or relationships deters their independence. Often an older child or teen will rebel and resort to lying to gain freedom and normalcy in social interactions. However, most will feel a sense of guilt about sharing an untruth in order to gain these privileges.

What's Good For The Goose Is Good For The Gander

If a parent role models honesty and integrity, a child will pick up these virtues and adopt them as valuable character traits. Children listen to their parents converse with others and pick up on actions or phrases that are "little white lies" or hear them brag about how they got their way. For example, did you boast about how you outwitted the cop from giving you a traffic ticket? Weren't you speeding? This sets an example for a child: lying is sometimes okay.

Lies: Developmental Stages

Age
Characteristics
0 - 3 years
Lies are honest mistakes. Often told to protect themselves or to pacify adults.
3 - 7 years
Exploring their world and differences between pretend and reality. Tall tales and imaginary friends are sometimes used to cope.
5 - 10 years
Begin to understand what it means to lie. They desire to know and tell the truth. Often will monitor truth telling of friends and family.
10+ years
They know when they are telling the truth and when they are lying. Lies are told to fit in and to win approval of peers. They will lie about lying.
 
Source: psychcentral.com

Great Truths Children Have Learned

  1. No matter how hard you try, you can't baptize cats.
  2. When your mom is mad at your dad, don't let her brush your hair.
  3. If your sister hits you, don't hit her back. They always catch the second person.
  4. Never ask your 3 year old brother to hold a tomato.
  5. You can't trust dogs to watch your food.
  6. You can't hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.
  7. Don't wear polka-dot underwear under white shorts.
  8. Never hold a dust-buster and a cat at the same time.
  9. The best place to be when you're sad is grandpa's lap.

Source: Orange Peel Gazette

Guiding Your Child To The Truth

The truth hurts for a little while, but lies hurt forever.

- Eileen Parra

Role model honesty. Kids are pretty good observationist and know when they are being lied to or when something is not quite kosher.

Remain calm when addressing the issue. Your anger will cause your child to focus on fear and not on the issue. Do whatever it takes to present a tranquil manner. I often take a few deep breaths and say a prayer before confronting any type of problem. It works.

Talk about it. Discuss how you feel about the situation. Don't accuse them of being a liar. Calling a child a liar may put a label on him or her and may lead to habitual lying. And, you may be wrong. If an untruth has been said or demonstrated, talk about why it is wrong.

If a lie was told, allow your child to feel remorse. Give them room to regain composure. Talk about how they could have handled it differently.

If your child refuses to tell the truth, don't try to force it. This will only cause them to back away from you, forming a barrier that will build as fear and resentment. Let them know how you view the issue and give them time to think it through.

Overall, your child may be trying to give you a message. Perhaps his routine or activities are too structured. Perhaps she needs structure and guidance. For example, not enough play time before bed, a need for stronger limits in personal activities, or a strong desire for parental attention may be cause for lying.

As one mother recently shared with me, "Parenting is tough. Having to deal with lying is so draining. I know it is part of her growing up, and I only want what is best for her: to define herself well."

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    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Kev, I believe you are onto something. I myself, never encouraged my child to believe in any of the characters you mentioned, we may have had fun reading about them, seeing movies, etc., but never said they were real. Still, sometimes it helps some children to imagine and create, just guide them accordingly. Thanks for the add to this topic!

    • KevSutton profile image

      Kevin Sutton 3 years ago from Gulf Shores, Alabama

      I love this article....I have to ask the question...Why do we lie to our kids? ...about tooth faries, santa claus and list continues....and we might say it's a little story. But what if their mind they somehow thinks it's just a little lie/story as well which won't hurt anyone right?!

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Motherofnations, I am always thrilled when an article helps families to build relationships. That little one will only become more honest and a man of character as everyone helps him to understand honesty. God bless you!

    • mothersofnations profile image

      Mothers of Nations 3 years ago

      Great article! While reading, I realized a few things…

      I've always encouraged my children to be honest. I don't accuse or become angry - I guess that's why my 5 yr old will confess with me but not with his older siblings, as they tend to become frustrated with him, whether or not he actually played with one of their belongings. Because of that, he’s become reluctant out of fear.

      Looks like we’ll be having a much-needed family meeting to help the older children to understand his point of view and how they can better handle those situations, as well as encouraging the little one to be honest with them at all times.

      Voted up! God bless you and yours…

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      It is difficult to help children understand the consequences of a lie. Your approach is good and it will help your grandson to overcome the urge to fib as he matures. Thanks for the added, Colin, value to this post!

    • profile image

      Colin323 3 years ago

      Very good summary of why children lie and how to manage it. I completely agree about not calling children liars; this is totally damaging. My grandson is inclined to try and lie his way out of trouble, but this is about being ashamed or embarrassed by his own behaviour and not wanting to be told off! We tend to keep cool, state calmly, what we know he has done and praise him for being honest when he does eventually come clean!

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Misslong, it is so hard to honestly express yourself when you fear the person asking the questions. I try to find the most positive way to tell someone the truth, but it still may not be well received. Glad you added insight to the content. Have a wonderful weekend.

      Grand Old Lady, I am so glad the article sparked an interest in the topic and I like your suggestion. I will work on it and post it soon. Hope you are enjoying a wonderful weekend. Blessings!

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Very good article! May I suggest a part II? About adults who lie compulsively? I would really like to understand that.

    • misslong123 profile image

      Michele Kelsey 3 years ago from Edmond, Oklahoma

      I think you did a great job in covering this subject matter. My take would be that kids lie because they fear punishment or disappointment. Even today, I still lie to my mother at times, because I hate disappointing her. Great hub! Thank you for sharing! Michele

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Fiftyish, you have touched upon many truths, especially why people lie. It is a developmental stage for young children and parents must address it with care and patience. Yes, adults should practice what they preach! Thanks for your add to the conversation. Enjoy your day.

    • fiftyish profile image

      Andy Aitch 3 years ago from UK & South East Asian Region

      Great post teaches12345.

      I was always told that "white lies" were okay, until of course they weren't! I was also told that we lie to:

      * Deceive others for whatever reason

      * Avoid getting into hot water

      * To win the affection/approval of the opposite sex

      It is little wonder that children grow up lying though because parents are telling their offspring whopping great fibs from the off. I mean: Father Christmas, the Tooth Fairy, the Bogeyman, and anything else that they seem appropriate at the time! One could argue that most of us never stop lying from the moment we can speak, although some will be much greater tales tellers than others. There is perhaps also a right time to lie, in that it's done purely for the protection of the one being lied to.

      It could also be argued that it's hypocritical for a lying parent to be the one to educate their kids in something they don't practice themselves; then again perhaps not if the intentions are still good and the reasons just.

      Andy Aitch

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Crusader, you are so kind. I enjoy writing about child development and only hope it helps parents to raise their children with hope. Blessings.

    • crusador profile image

      Crusader 3 years ago from India

      Hundreds of comments are evidence of great content the author has produced and a good author knows it well how much efforts are needed to churn out a high quality hub. Thanks for sharing the content on a useful topic.

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Hello, Craftymom! So glad that you found this post useful. Best wishes on raising those sweet children. I'm sure that you are doing a great job. Blessings.

    • notavgcraftymom profile image

      Amanda 4 years ago from Texas

      this is a great hub, thank you for sharing. As a mother of 5 children, lying is an issue I am greatly concerned with. This has helped me put into perspective some of our issues. Thanks!

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Ubani, Lying is an important issue with both young and old. Honesty is a character to be valued and people should aspire to this goal. Thanks for your reflection.

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Benjamin, thank you for your feedback on the topic. I think children have a hard time telling the truth if they are afraid of their parent(s).

    • ubanichijioke profile image

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 4 years ago from Lagos

      You have provided an insightful and detailed answer to this problem. Unarguably, this trend is followed by young and old making it a very important subject. Sometimes, it is hard not to lie even for the most truthful humans. But you have presented a collection of answers and I am pleased.

      Thank you so much!

    • profile image

      Benjamin Chege 4 years ago

      Hi teaches12345. Nice hub. Voted up an beautiful. I agree with you that most children will lie when they know the truth could put them in danger. I think parents should read this for their relationship with their kids to be better. Nice read.

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Midget, I agree with you on the authoritarian parenting style keeping children from truth telling. It doesn't allow them to freely express their thoughts. Thanks for your insightful comment and visit.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Many lie because of the authoritarian parent....I know this affected me when I was younger & had a very strict upbringing. Thanks for sharing.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      You have all the right thoughts, Skye. Very true, scripture is always the best way to provide instruction and discipline. Thanks for your visit and comment. Blessings.

    • skye2day profile image

      skye2day 4 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      teaches sister this is a fine writing. You are such a skilled and organized writer. Truly a gift. Your tips are always key. Lies are a problem. Nothing new under the sun huh? Of course we are born with sin nature so it is through Jesus we are made new and restored. It is never to early to bring scripture to the table. Easy not always. Sometimes it is easier for a parent to sweep lies aside. If we love our children we cannot do that. Amen. Teach your kids in the way they should go and they will not depart from it. Thing is adults lie too kids learn from mum and dad. Bottom line is Jesus is the way truth and life. Amen. He can we cannot.

      Love your style sister. I see many have come to get some nuggets through you. Well done good and faithful servant. Love you , Skye

      I love the great truths. Good stuff girl. Keep em coming.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      So glad it helped you understand teens. It is a difficult age for both child and parent, knowing how to cope helps. I'll bet you are a great Aunt. Blessings.

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 4 years ago from Minnesota

      I found this article so helpful and informative. I have run into this issue with my sister's teenagers. I have seen how lying comes easiest when a parent is angry about something and saying, "who left the door open?". It makes it easy for someone to say, "not me." I like that you brought up being careful about labeling a child that has lied. We don't want to shame our kids and create future lying. Hit many buttons and voted up.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Your sharing from experience supports the facts in this post, thank you. I imagine it is much fun to watch the two childrern interact when "story telling" is in process. Enjoy them, it won't last long. Be well and safe.

    • Rfordin profile image

      Rfordin 4 years ago from Florida

      This was very interesting. My 4 year old is telling fibs or the "truth" as she views it with a few key points left out in her favor.

      On the other hand my 5 year old has it down pat and will not lie regardless of the consequences. You hit the target spot on.

      In the past I have explained to my younger daughter how it's not right to lie or tell fibs etc. Her older sister chimes right in with "Honey, we cannot tell lies" LOL. It gets to be quite comical around here when the 4 year old spins her OUTLANDISH story and the 5 year old confronts it.....

      Again very interesting read. Thanks for sharing. Voted up.

      ~Becky

    • profile image

      Hubert Williams 4 years ago

      I will. Thank you Teach. I don't give up, just get frustrasated sometimes.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Hubert, hang in there, friend.

      PhDast7, it is hard to remain calm when such an important character trait is being built in children. Staying cool keeps everyone focused. Great add to the discussion! Have a wonderful evening, dear lady.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      This is excellent teaches. I no longer have any children to raise, but this would have been very helpful. especially the part about remaining calm when addressing the issue. Sharing. Theresa

    • profile image

      Hubert Williams 4 years ago

      Time will tell. What is it they say? The proof is in the pudding, I hope my brain doesn't turn to pudding before I see the proof.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Hubert, I truly believe children understand the importance of truth telling as they age. Most children, yours included, will embrace the goodness of life and appreciate the rewards of positive life application. Your parenting concern and love is what will make the difference, and I'm sure your son appreciates your guidance. It will prove to make him successful and happy in the years to come.

    • profile image

      Hubert Williams 4 years ago

      One child psychologist says his actions are normal.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Thanks for your feedback and comment, Linda. I believe lying is one of those traits many children either totally get, or test parents with so that we can get those gray hairs started! Just kidding, it is a stage of growth in children and the better parents are aware of the methods of working with kids, the easier the transition. Hope your are enjoying the sunshine in Orlando. (I was up that way yesterday for the Strawberry Festival!).

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Lying is something I never tolerated from my girls and they rarely if ever lied, maybe a little white lie...but who hasn't told those. Faith likes to "punk" me with stories to see how far she could play pretend until I get the truth out of her. It's actually fun and quite challenging for the imagination. Yet, lying is a no-go. Great hub Dianna!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Hubert, I also pray that as time goes on your son will realize truth is better than lying. It is deveopmental, but it also sounds like your son may be a strong willed and independent thinker. He may need a different approach to getting through this stage, perhaps consulting your pediatrician, pastor or professional who works with children would be able to help both of you through this period. I feel for you and hope things get better. Stay strong, safe and well.

    • profile image

      Hubert Williams 4 years ago

      Teach, this hub caught my attention while browsing through followers stories. My son lies all the time, always has. He says he fears what will happen if he told the truth. I have tried yelling, ignoring, shaking my head, walking with a sad face I even spanked him twice. No matter what I do he will lie first then later tell the truth. Frustrating. He is fourteen now and still I believe that boy would still rather climb a steep rocky mountain with greased hands to tell a lie rather than sit on a soft chair and tell the truth. I pray that he passes through this stage soon.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Rajan, it's true, all of us have lied at least once in our life. Kids need guidance to understand the consequences so that it does not become an adult habit. Thank you for your valued add here, it is much appreciated. Enjoy your day, dear friend.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      I think all of us have lied at least once in our life. And as kids not given much thought to it. But as parents the effect is totally different because lying can stay on and become destructive.

      Most of us grow out of this phase but for some it becomes a life long companion hindering and even destroying their life as well as their families . And this needs to be curbed.

      You have outlined very good reasons and how this issue can be tackled.

      Very useful information this, MsDora. Voted up as such.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Vinaya, lying it is a developmental aspect of childhood that cannot be ignored. As you state, some are left liars all their lives -- if not helped to understand its relation to morality. Thanks for the great add to the topic!

      Audrey, catching children when lying does present a great teaching moment. Hopefully, it will prevent a habit!

      Sid, thank you for your sharing and support. I hope many parents will understand the developmental process and help their child(ren) to become people of integrity. Take care and stay safe.

    • profile image

      sid76 4 years ago

      Well research article. Thank you very much. Voted up and sharing to facebook, pinterest and twitter!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      This is such a great article! Too often parents are punitive and miss a real teaching opportunity

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

      Intensive research on child psychology reveals that almost all kids have a shaft of deception in them. As they grow up, morality inculcated mold them into honest person, albeit, some are left liars all their lives. Children can invent as many different kinds of lies as grown-ups do. One example comes from Hindu theologies – Lord Krishna had invented white lies, social lies, cruel lies, and kind lies.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Hi Hyphenbird! I like your method of handling truth telling, very wise! Thank you, for your visit and support. Always a pleasure to see you. Blessings.

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      This is a great Hub and interesting subject. My little boy lied for a while. It was very difficult to work through it. Now we have an agreement. He never lies to me and I never get angry when he tells the truth. There may be consequences, those are out of my control, but I always have his back. Thank you for this wonderful and informative article. It is very helpful.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Vellur, discussing things openly and calmly is the best method of prevention. Knowing it is a growing phase also will help many to handle the lying situations well. Thank you for adding value to this topic. Blessings.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      A great hub. As you say the best way is to discuss things out in the open in a clam manner and not shout and yell at them.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Thank you DDE, for your visit and support. I do agree that it is the fear of pain that keeps children from telling the truth, maturity and experience helps to build truthtelling.

      Martie, I was one who had to learn the hard way! I appreciate your visit and support.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 4 years ago from South Africa

      Excellent hub about the reasons why children lie and how to guide them out of this destructive habit. Most people learn the hard way how to stick to the truth.

      Voted up, informative and very useful.

      Thank you, teaches :)

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Why Does My Child Lie, sometimes they re scared to tell the truth and feel lying is the way out and that moment it feels the better option, afterward when facing up to their challenges it can be most frustrating or troublesome. Most informative on the topic.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Mekenzie, your analysis of lying is so true. If we could only get children to understand the harm caused by lies is greater than than sharing truth, how much easier it would go for all involved. Thank you for your visit and support of this topic. Blessings.

    • Mekenzie profile image

      Susan Ream 4 years ago from Michigan

      Hi teaches, What an awesome, well researched and written hub. It really expands ones thinking into motivation and contemplation about why a child would lie.

      As I was reading your bullet points on the Tangled web I thought .. ya know it is so much easier to tell the truth. No stress, no covering up and no double life.

      I think the fear is that when one tells the truth they must face up to the consequences of their behavior. But the consequences are way less difficult than the web that is weaved through lies and deception.

      I would think your hub would be a great resource for parents as they have discussions about the importance of always telling the truth and manning up to your own behaviors.

      Thanks Teaches. Excellent read from an excellent writer.

      Blessing to you my friend,

      Mekenzie

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Vicki, you are so right, being controlling doesn't help a child to discover ethical solutions that will make a difference as he or she grows. Thank you for adding to this hub content. Be well, safe and strong!

      Leah, Love your share on parenting those young boys. Keep up the good work! Hope your day is terrific! Blessings.

    • leahlefler profile image

      Leah Lefler 4 years ago from Western New York

      What a great hub! I have a 5 year old and a 7 year old - my seven year old tends to be very transparent (just his personality), but my five year old definitely likes to spin a yarn or two. He is beginning to understand what it means to tell a tall tale vs. a real fact, and knows when he isn't telling the truth about something he did (breaking his brother's toy, for example). He definitely doesn't want to be "at fault" and will try to pawn off the responsibility by stating, "I didn't do it!"

    • profile image

      Vickiw 4 years ago

      Hi Teaches, always love your Hubs. This is great, about a topic that causes a lot of anxiety in parents. It really doesn't help to be an authoritarian parent. I like the idea of being open-minded, and discussing this lovingly with a child.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Neelum, thank you for commenting.

    • Neelum Waqar profile image

      Neelum Waqar 4 years ago from Pakistan

      I appreciate to teaches12345 for commenting on hubpages.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Thanks so much for your wonderful comment on this article. I appreciate everyone of them as they add value to the article. It is good to know the content is helpful and on target with ethical practice in our homes. I wish everyone a great weekend. Stay safe and well! Blessings:

      Jackie, Neelum, Anglnwu, Torrilynn, Fran, Glimmer, Livingsta, Carla, Mary, Ingnugent, Mary, Midget, Nyamache, Carla, Unknown, Eddy.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Great write and so important. Lies really are so ugly and I have known some liars that do not know the truth they have lied for so long. It really is a sad way to be. ^

    • Neelum Waqar profile image

      Neelum Waqar 4 years ago from Pakistan

      enjoy and commented up

    • anglnwu profile image

      anglnwu 4 years ago

      Great hub. Love the great truths capsule--so true. The chart is very useful. Enjoyed it and rated up.

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 4 years ago

      really great hub. I find that as the years have gone by that children are starting to lie more at a younger age. as a parent, something you should do is do not laugh when you catch your kid lying and to reprimand them on why they shouldn't lie. just a thought. voted up.

    • Frangipanni profile image

      Frangipanni 4 years ago

      Great article. I wish I had read this when my kids were younger. It use to do my head in but with guidance and firm rules they started to grow out of it. Great post.Voted up and following

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      I have tried to force my daughter to tell me the truth once or twice, and as you point out, she just pulls back and won't even discuss it anymore. As a parent it is hard to see your child lying, but I think it something they need to learn not to do. Really good hub with great advice and situations.

    • livingsta profile image

      livingsta 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Great information here. How true, so many parents do not know how to handle children when they lie. I have myself experienced this at home and from teachers. Little lies, for fear of getting beaten. Thank you for sharing this hub. Voted up and sharing!

    • carlajbehr profile image

      Carla J Behr 4 years ago from NW PA

      Great article! I think teaching our children moral issues is important in this day and age. Thank you for sharing.

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      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      I have had to deal with my children lying at different ages, and it is a tough subject. Fortunately, they "grew out of" lying. I always told them to tell the truth cause soon or later I'd find out and they would really be sorry.

      The thing I can't tolerate is when adults lie. I wrote a Hub about people who lie.

      Children have to learn not to lie, and your article is full of good advice and common sense.

      Voted UP, and shared.

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      ignugent17 4 years ago

      Great information. Children and parents must learn to trust and be honest to each other.

      Voted up and useful. :-)

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      IAmForbidden 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      wow..that is really excellent. well honestly i used to tell white lies every now and then.. :) Love reading this.

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      Joshua Nyamache 4 years ago from Kenya

      You can imagine how damaging it would be if a person acts based on the information that was full of lies. Parents have the duty of explaining to their children why they should not tell lies but the importance of telling the truth. If children understand the importance of being truthful then they will grow up to be useful people since they will be trusted and depended upon. The truth always sets a person free. Your hub is useful, I appreciate it!

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      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      So well informed Dianna and I know this is a problem which many parents worry over. I am sure many will benefit from your wise words. Have a wonderful day.

      Eddy.

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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Great points, Dianna. It is important to realize that kids do not have the emotional maturity to handle situations like parental anger, etc....for that matter, we sometimes find it difficult too. It is so important for people not to overreact. Thanks for sharing!

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      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Dr BJ, it is a complicated issue. We are not perfect, truth telling should guide our choices in relationships in order to provide the best communication. Great add on the omission of truth, it is just as harmful.

      TeacherJoe, you are so right: teaching children at an early age will ensure they make great choices later in life. It is such a great character trait.

      Rosemay, I can't think of anything that teaches better than a good parental role model. Love your share on how telling the truth will save you lots of deeper trouble. Your story is so cute, those sweet children just can't help sharing some times.

      I thank each of you for taking the time to come by and to leave insightful comments. Blessings!

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      Rosemary Sadler 4 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      You did an excellent job here Dianna. It is so important for adults to set a good example for their children when it comes to lying. You have given some great advice and I liked the table that you put up, a good indication as to how serious lying is at a particular age.

      Ours were always tought that they would not be in as much trouble if they told the truth and its good to see that they are teaching their children the same.

      I once got caught out when I had a prang with the car and said don't tell your father, it was my 12 year old son who pointed out that we had tought them not to lie so I shouldn't either. Of course my 8 year old daughter told dad as soon as we walked through the door' Mummy didn't crash the car daddy' which gave everyone a good laugh.

      A great hub with valuable lessons and informaton.

      Voting UP

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      teacherjoe52 4 years ago

      Good morning precious little siter.

      A very good article.

      I had to laugh while listening to a sermon by Alistair Begg. He was explaining how his two year old grandaught was lying to get out of her chores. I gree with his statement and yours that we need to set the example. Children learn more by watching than by listening. As well it is just as important to teach them about God and His rules.

      It is important to teach children to accept the truth early on in age. If we don't they will believe that telling lies is okay and will not believe the truth when they hear it. I have seen so many people live this distructive lifestyle.

      May God bless with with teaching your precious little ones wisdom. Knowledge is knowing something. Wisdom is knowing something and obeying what is taught.

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      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      You did yourself proud with this treatise on lying, Dianna. Many people (adults and children) lie to avoid negative consequences, except for sociopaths of course who could not care less about others. And often we use the sin of omission, simply not telling the whole truth. It's a complicated issue and you did shed an extraordinary amount of light on the subject. Voted up, naturally!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Great stuff, we do find our kids make better choices when they have excellent role models. Tell your sister it takes lots of loving patience, but a firm mindset.

      Anaramkumar, good parenting on addressing the truth up-front with your children. They will only get better at making good decisions.

      Neelum, lying is cause for anger. However, as you probably know, loving discipline and guidance will make the choice to truth-telling easier.

      Kathleen, I think many adults are still afraid of telling the truth because they do not like dealing with the consequences. To have someone mad at you, or to prolong a peaceful environment, is often reason to withhold truth. They don't realize how much harm they are causing, in spite of their efforts to be peaceful. Parents must continue to role model honesty, even when the birds have flown the nest. In time, it may change a person who is watching.

      Carol, I would just ditto what I wrote for Kathleen above on this issue. Why we tend to hide the truth at times is so mysterious. We know better, but the need to have a peaceful relationship sometimes pulls on our normal morals of honesty.

      Will, I think most ethicists would argue with us on telling those little white lies. Suggestions are to find a way to tell the truth in a positive way. Such as, "It doesn't accent your best features." I struggle with it at times too. Thanks for the insightful add to the discussion.

      Bill, if we say that we never lie, we have just lied! It's a choice we make every day, as you say, we do get better at telling the truth as we mature. It is much better than living with the guilt and hurt lying it causes.

      Cleaner, thank you, my friend. I hope it helps many parents out there to raise children of good moral character.

      Peachpurple, let's hope you have minimal dealings with lying as your child grows. THat is a blessing!

      Seeker7, it is hard to tell the truth when you have parents who are authoritarian in parenting style. Children find themselves wanting to please a parent, but are pulled by their desire for independence. It is a wise parent who realizes their is a balance between setting boundaries and allowing a child to make decisions based upon good guidelines. They have to make their own mistakes in order to grow.

      Tillsontitan, good advice. I also said that to my child, "tell the truth and it will go much better for you!" This lets them know that you have a listening ear and open mind. Good job!

      ComfortB, they do start as young as 2 with lying. It is so innocent, but left unguided, it will become a habit. Great add to the content.

      Girishpuri, I love how you handled your sons grade report. Often as a parent continues to express loving wisdom and guidance, letting a child know how much they are appreciated, it will make them realize they need to live up to the standards set on truth and honesty. You did an outstanding job on this!

      Mhatter, sorry to hear how you were disciplined. I have to say I suffered as much when I was a young child. I learned that lying was a way to prevent pain. However, as you know, as we mature we realize lying only makes things worse when you are interacting socially. I had to forgive my parents long ago in order to live a positive lifestyle.

      Kathy, I can see how eating soap would make a big difference with some kids. Wouldn't be able to use that today -- child abuse would be slapped on to our foreheads! Glad the hub was of interest to you and that it provided some new insight on parenting issues. So good to see you today.

      Thanks to everyone for stopping by and placing such valued remarks on this subject. Enjoy your week. Stay fit, well, and safe. Blessings!

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      Kathi 4 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      I didn't think I was going to learn much about this subject, but now I'm glad I stuck with it. You provided us some deeper insights and suggestions to for raising honest children. I remember as a kid calling someone a liar several times. It was taboo even then to lie to other kids or of course to mom and dad to get out of something. My parents made us chew soap if we got caught lying! I know that was drastic, but it worked. Thanks . . . Kathi :O)

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. I lied in attempt to avoid a beating. Worse... my mother would exaggerate to insure a beating, so even if I told the truth my story rarely matched.

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      Girish puri 4 years ago from NCR , INDIA

      Dianna, With the increasing competitive atmosphere, we expect to much from the child and child can't afford that much of pressure. result is in front of you, he/she starts lying. Yesterday my son, who studies in class 10th, got less marks in maths, When asked he gave us the false higher figures, we have decided not to pressurize him any more. Thanks for the useful hub.

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      Comfort Babatola 4 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

      Very interesting topic you've dealt with here teaches12345. It's disturbing how most kids lie so early in life. What's even more disturbing is the ease at which they do it.

      I love how you touched on the many contributing factors to this problem, plus how to deal with the issues. Voted up and useful!

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      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      I have always told my kids that if they lie they will wind up in worse trouble than if they tell the truth, no matter what it is. Except for one incident of teenage sneaking out of the house after curfew a few times, they've never lied to me....I would know because with four kids one would tell ;)

      Your table is an excellent guide to help know when lying is a problem. Little ones don't even really know they're lying, they think they're hiding things from you by not telling the truth. We all know we have to explain that to them so they know the difference.

      Good hub, well written and very helpful!

      Voted up, useful, interesting and shared.

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      Helen Murphy Howell 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland

      This is an excellent hub and I love the table with the development ages and showing how 'lying' corresponds to their age. I found this hub so interesting as it reminded me of a good friend that I've known from school. Colin's parents were very strict but I think this was to do with being over protective so it was stiffling for Colin and his brothers when they were in their young teens in particular. The boys would all lie about attending after-school activities and other parents taking them there and bringing them back and so on, which was a load of old tosh as they were really going out with their mates. I know Colin was found out on a couple of occasions and was grounded, but it seems to me, that the parents without realising maybe created this situation. That Colin and his brothers would fib in order to be able to get out with their mates.

      Anyway, a really interesting hub + voted up!!

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      peachy 4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      great hub. My kid hasn't started to lie yet. He is 6 years old. At least, now i know what i should look for when the situation occurs. Voted useful

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      cleaner3 4 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

      excellent hub teaches, as usual filled with great information.All parents should read this .

      Nice work .!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Wonderful suggestions, Dianna! Who hasn't liked? Somehow most of us break the habit as we become more confident and realize the consequences of the truth are not horrible. I love your approach to this. Well done!

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      WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Excellent! Of course, not all lies are bad:

      "Honey, does this dress make my butt look big?"

      "No, not at all."

      We just have to learn the difference.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      This was written so well!!!! One of my kids lied to me a lot into adulthood to avoid facing the truth of a situation. His intentions were to avoid a confrontation. I caught him in a lie that he couldn't get out of..He still twists the truth to make things easier for himself.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      I have two adult sons who lie when it really isn't a big thing, just to avoid confrontations with their wives. I ask myself, what in the world did I do to these boys to make them do this. In most other situations, they are models of ethical behavior. They had an older sister who didn't get in trouble as often as they did. Did I show that much favoritism?

    • Neelum Waqar profile image

      Neelum Waqar 4 years ago from Pakistan

      me is very angry when little child speake lie.

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      anuramkumar 4 years ago from Chennai, India

      An excellent hub. We normally discuss these issues at home and try not to tell even lies for fun as we may set a wrong example to our little one.

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      Mazlan 4 years ago from Malaysia

      This is a very useful article for future reference. My sister will need this as she babysits her two small grand kids. You are spot on in saying that children will listen and may follow what their parent do that are "little white lies". Parents and grandparents need to be careful when they do these 'bragging' and telling 'white lies' otherwise it will be difficult to handle the situation with a child. Voted useful, and shared.

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Hi Careermommy, so glad to hear how this has helped someone already. It is a topic that has come across my thoughts lately for personal reasons. Thanks for your feedback. Enjoy your weekend!

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      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      teaches12345, this is a perfectly timed article. My hubby and I were just talking about this very subject yesterday. I learned a lot from this hub. Thank you.