Why do children lie? Can you recall your first lie ever? Ok, never mind! Now, would you guess the reason that could be behind that lie? Well, don’t be so harsh on yourself; you were only a little one then, and you might have been trying to avoid punishment, get attention, etc. Just as what your child might do now.
But wait, are we born with it? When and why did it all start? And how can I prevent my child from being a liar? That’s what you are going to know about by reading through our list of facts and Tips given by child Behavioral experts
According to experts, Lying is a natural part of the child’s development. However, parents get really disappointed and frustrated when they realize that their special little ones are lying and start dealing with it as a moral crisis, which sometimes makes the issue even worse.
So, let’s understand the children’s logic behind lying and explore the most common and interesting reasons behind this behavior:
They don’t want trouble: “ I didn’t break the..,” said by almost every child on Earth
They want to hear (compliments): “That’s was brilliant” or “Bravo” especially for children with low self-confidence.
They want to avoid unpleasant tasks (ex :Homework)
They want to get rewarded: a chocolate, or a piece of pie
They want to impress others: convince others that they are superheroes to get appreciation.
The don’t know the difference between truth and untruth ( as innocent as it seems)
They copy others: they have a high sense of observation and they just copy
They want to get your attention ( even if the listeners know the truth)
They sometimes think that truth is boring: so, they exaggerate a story to make it more interesting
You might be surprised when you know that lying starts as early as two or three to six years old. However, according to some experts, Lying could start at six month old and that goes back to the child’s intelligence, which will also make him a better liar in later stages
Generally, children develop their lying techniques by the age of 4 as they start to use their body language and tone of voice in order to be more convincing (brilliant actors) now, they can fake a cry of pretend to be laughing.
Before this age, they are just poor liars trying to tell an imaginary story without considering its validity. At this stage, they just express their imagination and explore people’s reactions. However, they learn more about lying by modeling and learning from the behaviors they observe in their environment.
Who’s to blame?
Your child learns best by observing the behaviors of the adults and copying it. So, not only he picks up the ethics and morals but also he copies the bad ones.
Basically, Children learn lying at home. In fact, Parents are the one who teach their children how to lie, but of course in an indirect way. For example: when the parents instruct the child to lie on their behalf or even by preventing them from knowing unhappy truth “Everything is fine”
Deal with it!
Here is what to do when you little one misleads you:
When you realize that your child lied, send him to his room so you can cool sown. Then try to talk with your spouse or a close friend about what happened , in order to have a rational opinion
Talk with your child and point out for him the negative consequences of Lying
Consider your child’s reasons behind this behavior and try to sort them out
Don’t label your child 'a liar' because labels tend to encourage the kind of behavior that you don't want.
Tell your child how bad and disappointed you feel when he lies
If you are sure that your child is lying, try to make a joke out of his naïve statement until he tells the truth
Here are some tips for you to encourage your child on telling the truth:
We are not born with neither the lying nor the truth so, it takes years to implant the good habit of telling the truth
Stress on the rule of truth in your home and set it as one of the rules
Unleashing your child’s imagination is so important for his development, which means that pretending and telling fantasy stories are beneficial especially for children under the age of 3
Create a bond of trust between you and your child
When your child admits doing something wrong, praise him for being honest
Boost your child’s self- esteem so, he would avoid telling exaggerated stories
Set a good example by telling the truth yourself
Help your child avoid the situations that would push him to lie.
Be patient, and teach your child the consequences of lying