No One Wants Their Child To Be A Liar, But It Might Help To Know That Lying Is Very Common Among Children And A Normal Part of Their Development

SUDIO 1ONE - illustrative purposes only, not the actual child

Let’s start with an undeniable truth–all children lie, whether they’re toddlers or teens, and they do so for various reasons. Even adults lie! At some point in our lives, we’ve all sugarcoated the truth to protect someone else’s feelings or told a small fib to get out of an unpleasant chore.

No one wants their child to be a liar, but it might help to know that lying is very common among children. It’s a normal part of their development.

Of course, as parents, it’s your job to manage this behavior so that it doesn’t get out of hand. The goal is to teach your kid to value and understand the importance of honesty.

Parents have the most influence on their children’s levels of honesty. If parents lie to kids during their childhood, those kids are much more likely to grow up telling lies to get out of trouble.

As kids get older, their lies become increasingly complex, and the motivation behind the lies will change. At each stage of development, there are different ways to handle a child’s dishonesty. Here is an age-by-age on how to address moments when your kid is caught in a lie.

Just like adults, children lie for personal gain, to avoid consequences, or to spare someone’s feelings. Kids can begin lying as early as two-years-old.

At ages two to four, toddlers don’t have a very strong grasp on where the truth begins or ends. Children this young do not have the ability to deceive others in a malicious manner.

Toddlers are just learning how to navigate the world. So when your toddler insists that their younger sibling ate their cookie, refrain from angrily pointing out the lie. Instead, use a mild tone to make an observation about the cookie crumbs covering your toddler’s chin.

At this age, kids are too young to be punished for lying, but it’s never too early to encourage truthfulness. Children’s books about telling the truth can help introduce the virtue of honesty.

SUDIO 1ONE – illustrative purposes only, not the actual child

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