Wisdom tidbit: why do kids lie? 2

It may sound counter-intuitive, but all kids lie at some point. Those may be fibs or white lies. According to clinical psychology, the onset of lying is sudden.

The Causes

  1. Testing new behavior: Kids have discovered this idea! They’re wondering: What’s the big deal about truth? Challenging the norms is part of their spiritual evolution.
  2. They have a self-esteem issue: Children crave attention from parents and teachers. Sadly, they don’t feel confident about being “good”. So, they try to show themselves as good.
  3. To divert attention: Most kids dislike it when the spotlight’s on them. Lies help them end such situations.
  4. Speaking impulsively: Hyperactive kids, especially those with ADHD, may lie impulsively. Many times, they’re just spurting out mindlessly. Such kids genuinely may not remember. Even if they haven’t done their homework, they may say, “I thought I did it.”
  5. White lies: Those who lack social skills speak white lies. More so in confrontational situations.

Handling Lies

  1. Not labeling kids as a liar is essential. It leaves irreparable damages.
  2. Confrontation causes kids to lie more. If they’re caught red-handed, parents can say, “I know you messed up. I’m giving you 10 minutes of alone time. I expect you to speak the truth after it.”
  3. For exaggerated narratives, parents can politely say, “‘That sounds like a tall tale. Can you please tell me what really happened?”
  4. If kids think they did something when they didn’t, they may need assistance. Providing memory aids like checklists and organizers can help.
  5. For severe situations, parents can have pre-negotiated consequences. Spot punishments never work.

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