Why Kids Lie

In my previous post (Is your kid becoming a liar?), I had mentioned about the signs of lying in children! Now that you are aware of the signs, you might be wondering about the reasons behind lying. If yes, then continue reading.

Lying- call it an abnormal habit or an extraordinary art, this peculiar phenomenon is a big turn off for most of us. But unfortunately in our daily lives we see a large number of people exhibiting this trait without any sign of repentance or guilt! Things get ugly when even small kids learn to master this art. And as they say prevention is better than cure, so the best thing to do is to kill the poison in the very beginning in the early stages of childhood. To do this, you must know the reasons behind lying.

Why is your child lying?

Though there may be a numerous reasons that can make your child a liar, I have listed the 6 common reasons behind lying.

1) He is too afraid to face you: “Jerry! Did you break this jar? Tell me the truth or I will trash you black and blue.” So you really expect Jerry to be honest after this? Come on! Fear is one of the most prominent reasons behind lying. And if your kid is lying just because he is afraid, then you are equally responsible for this! Encourage him to be honest and reward him for admitting his faults or mischievous pranks.

                                  why does kids lie

2) When they are confused: Worried about your toddler’s imaginary stories? Kids at this stage learn to discover new things. So it is natural to get confused at times. They have a tendency to imagine things and are unable to maintain a balance between their fiction and the real world. Sometimes parents also encourage this in the form of a fairy tale, that ugly looking ‘mask man’ (to make the kid listen to them) and by endless imaginary explanations.

3) You are a liar…Yes you are: Oh no! Don’t be so harsh on that poor soul. If you thought tagging him as a liar will make him quit lying, you need to think again! This, in fact will have a very negative impact on his mind and after a point of time he will become a damn care liar.

4) …because he feels it is easier and okay to lie: If your kid is around 8 years or so, he probably knows that he is lying. Why he still continues to lie is because he does not find any wrong in this! Moreover lying, according to him is way easier than indulging in lengthy honest explanations.

5)  Lying ‘improves’ their image: Young adolescents often lie to their classmates and friends. This is another instance of lying when individuals seek attention and tries to improve his image among their counterparts. For example: “Hey Jack, My dad has a BMW Nazca M12. Cool isn’t it?”, “Hey guys, we are going for an Africa tour in the coming vacation.” Though these may seem to be innocent lies, these should not be entertained because the child gradually masters the technique of lying and goes on to become ace liars in the long run.

                                        why kids lie

6) To save himself from humiliation: If a child is bullied, harassed or abused he tends to fake his feelings to avoid humiliation. Sometimes the fear of being scolded or beaten up by parents forces a child to pretend normal even though they are disturbed. Now, this is risky! So try to read his body language and assure him that he is not alone!

When lies are not really lies…

If you find your children telling a white lie, instead of getting worried or scolding them, you should be proud them! Because only the sensible kids can do this! For instance, if your child says “The food was great” in spite of the fact that the food was pathetic just to avoid hurting the host, be sure that he/she is on the right track. White lies should be encouraged by the parents to make children more humble and responsible. However care should be taken to make children aware of the negative sides of other forms of lying too.

Now that you have known some of the most probable reasons of lying, it is time to check whether your child is lying to you! If yes do not panic and handle the situation with care!

Please feel free to add any points (in case I have missed any), offer feedback or share your own experiences regarding this!

A positive living and self development blogger and motivator.
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9 thoughts on “Why Kids Lie

  1. I liked your point about why would a child admit to lying about breaking a jar when they know what is in store for them!

    Parents will gain far more trust and honesty from their children if they sit them down and speak with them calmly.

    All children lie. I know I did and for some of the reasons you mention in your blog.

    I do not agree that white lies should be encouraged. There are ways to avoid hurting someone’s feeling without resorting to lying.
    Phoenicia Oyeniyi recently posted…Do you allow time to do absolutely nothing?My Profile

  2. I don’t have children myself, but I’ll gladly pass your article on because this is such an important topic! I can personally relate to #6 because I was bullied in school and more often than I care to admit lied my way out of going to school or on field trips to avoid confrontations. I think it’s so important for parents to develop a level of communication with their children so that they can discuss these things in the open. Great article!
    Marquita Herald recently posted…Reflections On Our Need For ApprovalMy Profile

  3. Hi Tuhin. Stopping by from the BHB group via LinkedIn. The reasons you lay out are helpful in understanding the complexity of lying at a young age. I worked at a summer camp where in conversations with kids, they’d tend to embellished their stories either because it felt like word vomit or to look cool to their friends. It’s an interesting thing to witness, but even more important to call out when they’re impressionable. Thanks for sharing.

  4. As you stated their are different levels, or types of lies.
    I do think we have to examine why they are lying, but certainly do not allow it in some cases. What we are as grownups is created when we are children, if lies become who you are as a child, it is what you do as an adult.
    Thanks for sharing.
    William Rusho recently posted…New York Renaissance Fair: Part DeuxMy Profile

  5. I think a little white lie is OK vs. making a hurtful remark to someone. Just last evening, a friend and I were invited to someone’s home. She proudly showed off her decorating skills which we thought were actually deplorable. I focused instead on a painting over the couch. It wasn’t a great painting, but it was unusual, so that’s what I said. Why hurt someone’s feelings? If she loves her home that’s all that matters.

  6. If lying staves off abuse or other violence, I’m down with it. A kid’s gotta do what a kid’s gotta do.

    I’m not so sure that you should “encourage” kids to tell white lies or be “proud” of them when they do, but they should definitely NOT be punished for it.

    It occurred to me that kids may also lie as the result of boredom or idleness – all the more reason to keep them busy all the time, eh?
    Andy recently posted…Calculator Capabilities, ContinuedMy Profile

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