Most kids lie at some point—some are small, white fibs while others might be bigger lies. Reasons for lying can vary depending on the age of the child. For example, a younger child might lie about throwing a ball at her brother’s head, but an older school-age child might lie about failing a test. Children lie for many reasons, perhaps to avoid a consequence, get out of doing something or to impress others.
Avoid a Consequence
Children might worry about the consequence or disappointing a trusted adult once the truth is known. For example, if your child is struggling with math, he might lie and say he got a better grade on a test. In these types of situations, it helps to consider what else is causing your child to lie. It can also help if you give your child a chance to tell the truth. Kids might automatically lie without considering the consequences, so providing another chance to tell the truth is beneficial. Plus, this gives the child time to think. If your child tells the truth when given a second chance, praise him or her for being honest even though it was tough to tell the truth.
Getting Out of Doing Something
Your child says that she doesn’t have any homework. Perhaps this is because she doesn’t want to do her homework, but it could signal a bigger problem. For example, she may be struggling in her math class and doesn’t believe she can complete the assignment successfully, and/or perhaps she is too frightened to let an adult know this. You can use this lie as an opportunity to dig a bit deeper at the problem or maybe you’ll discover that she simply wanted to play with friends instead of doing homework.
You probably remember doing this as a kid.
Some children use imagination and exaggeration to embellish a story. Sometimes
the story is completely made up. For example, your child tells a relative that
he got the lead in the school play. While this might not be true, he’s trying
to make an impact and impress the relative with her story.
Children lie for a variety of reasons, but
it’s important to discuss the importance of being honest when you witness
untruthfulness. This way you can uncover why your child is lying and ensure a
bigger problem doesn’t exist.
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