Do Children Lie? 7 Tips to Guide Children to Tell Truth

Msc (psychology), NLP
@Islaah Center for Psychological Wellness

‘Johnny … Telling Lies …’ ‘No Dad …’ Even the child who was about to start talking shows about telling lies through rhymes. How did innocent children start lying until then? If children are little older, they will often lie. If parents can understand why children lie, they can bring out the truth.

Why do children lie?
Most of the parents think that children tell lies to achieve things they want and to avoid the fights and punishments. But these are common intuitions. There are obvious reasons why children not telling the truth.

To test the new behavior
The children would love to experiment on parent’s expression by saying they have done something which in reality not done by them. So the children also think that if they get any benefit by saying so.

To boost self-esteem and gain recognition
Children who lack self-esteem are more likely to impress themselves in the eyes of others end up in saying big lies. When an eighth grader says he did incredible things, all his friends will be amazed and he will be seen as a hero. For that purpose they tell lies.

To hide problems
When they are reluctant to get up early and go to school, the reason given by the children is It could be something like ‘I couldn’t sleep well last night’ or a stomach ache or a headache. Laziness or fear of facing teachers may be the reason.

Speaking before thinking
What was done would be fake. Lies may have been told about it. But then, if someone asks about it, without remembering the lies told earlier, without further ado, children will tell one lie after another. So we can find the lies.

Motivation to tell innocent lies
It is the parents who persuade their children to tell innocent lies. In some cases, parents support their children to tell such lies. From the moment they realize that there is nothing wrong with telling such petty lies, they lie on their own.

What parents should do to their lying children?

The first step is to understand what kind of lies children are telling and under what circumstances. It is important to note that whether this bring changes to the behavior of the children. Listen to the advice of psychologists to deal with the lying habit of children:

    • What you are saying is a lie. Open up and say calmly that we know nothing like that has happened.
    • Discipline in moderation will make things more transparent.
    • If the child lied that he got higher marks in the exam (If you are convinced of that) don’t try to compliment and pamper too much. Just take it as if you believed it. When children get more praise, they try to repeat such lies.
    • The only way to deal with kids who constantly lie about not doing homework is Parents should check their books daily. Do you know about homework if you constantly research what each subject taught each day. With that, children cannot skip homework.
    • Justify their part by lying without admitting that they have done something wrong to other children, Children should be told in peace that it is wrong and that the child should be forgiven.
    • No matter what they bring home as a gift, Call the person whom they have told the gift was given and talk as usual, find out if what the child said is true.
    • If the child is found to be using alcohol or other intoxicants without making things worse by punishing, seek a good counselor for counseling or treatment from a related doctor.

Excessive discipline and punitive measures are not the solution to stop lying. You have to deal with things with restraint and formula. If you over-praise or appreciate anything that kids do, to always get those approvals, Children will continue to tell innocent lies about things they do not deserve.