Is Your Child Lying? – Causes and What Can You Do Stop Them From Lying

There is an age-old song that we know and even our grandparents and probably their grandparents do. You’ll be surprised to know that this song teaches our children lying and also that lying is OK.

“Telling a lie, no papa

Open your mouth, ha! ha! ha!”

Surprised? Well, if you ask your child about eating a chocolate which he is not supposed to eat and he lies about it flat-out on your face, would you consider that a lie or an innocent mistake?

A recent article published in The New York Times says that “Kids who know how to deceive are smarter and better adjusted.” In my opinion, this is a highly debatable topic. We have been taught not to lie, no matter what. And that dishonesty is a bad thing. We try to teach our kids the same. Honestly, I won’t be OK with my children lying to me or anyone else. Whatever the psychologists say, as a parent I am not comfortable with normalising “lying” and accepting it as a benchmark of smartness.

However, it’s still possible that your child will lie somewhere along the way. While a younger child my cook up a story about how she didn’t hit his younger sibling or a friend; the older kids may lie constantly or lie about being hit.

Is Your Child Lying? - Causes and What Can You Do Stop Them From Lying #prettymummasays #toddler #childhood #children #parenting #motherhood

Why Do Children Lie?

Lying in kids is not uncommon. Lying is their notion of being big, brave, free and powerful. Fairy tales, fictitious characters and fanciful stories are examples of children’s wishful thinking, exaggeration of real or an imaginary experience.

Children lie because of many reasons.

  • They lie to avoid punishment
  • To avoid doing things that they don’t like
  • For attracting attention
  • To show off before friends
  • To shirk off responsibility
  • Whenever the child feels intimidated by adults or peers
Read 50 Positive Affirmation That You Must Tell Your Child Everyday

How Can You Handle and Correct Your Child When He Lies?

It will be difficult to get your child to accept his lies. However, it can be achieved with love and building trust. Reprimanding and warnings will make your child obstinate and disobedient.

Is Your Child Lying? - Causes and What Can You Do Stop Them From Lying #prettymummasays #toddler #childhood #children #parenting #motherhood

  • With the help of storytelling and role modeling make your child understand that lying to avoid any unpleasantness is not right. It has negative consequences.
  • Build your trust and faith in your child. Your child should be able to confide in you without the fear of getting scolded or punished.
  • Don’t get offended if your child tells you that he hates his brother or a relative. He is trying to share his innermost feelings with you. Listen patiently and then respond.
  • Stop reacting. Start responding. Avoid threatening, shaming or intimidating your child.
  • Be a good role model for your child. Don’t indulge and encourage “little white lies”. This was your child will understand that lying is unacceptable.
  • Always check the facts before confronting your child and know ‘his side of the story’.
  • Try to understand why he lied. Gently ask him to apologise to whoever he has lied to.
  • Lastly, practice what you preach.

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53 thoughts on “Is Your Child Lying? – Causes and What Can You Do Stop Them From Lying

  1. Very interesting… We had noticed one child was being borderline truthful. Not lying per second but not truthful either.
    That’s when we made some spiritual rules for our household, some ground rules our family is based on.
    These were communicated to the kids.

    Overtime all got aligned to the truths we live by and the bonding has been strengthened.

    I am so grateful we did not scold, condemn or criticize any action or the person.

    We also tried to separate the action from the person – two different things

  2. According to present atmosphere and era Smartness is totally a required factor, but by lying, if someone is declared as smart, is not acceptable. So I agree with you.

  3. Simple tips in parenting and child psychology—this is a helpful article that all parents must read in order to understand their child better.

  4. It’s a lovely and very useful post on something very relevant to every household, family and parents. This is an usual problem faced by parents of teenagers and below and your tips for dealing with it will help many.

  5. It is common that children lie. Right now my son is still in the phase where we know outright it is a lie. The points you have mentioned are good. Will take a lot of conscious effort to implement though

    Namratha from #firstgreenstep #MyFriendAlexa

  6. Nice post. Yes I agree that child never accepts he / she lied. They have to be weaned away. But most of us lack the training. In this day and age of rapid action, we want children to give up habits as soon as he or she is caught. It does not happen. Bonding with child is important. Only if he can trust us, he may listen.

  7. It’s very awkward when a child lies but it can be handled as you have so rightly pointed out. Like you I’m not comfortable with normalising lying although a lot of adults lie.

  8. Very well said!!! There are many reasons why the kids lie but as parents it is my opinion to keep teaching them the value of truth.

  9. I sometimes feel that the habit of lying gets hard-wired in us from childhood itself. Your post is therefore all the more important. We as parents should take necessary steps and precautions to ensure that children don’t get into the habit of lying

  10. I remember an occasion, years ago, when I had uttered a simple white lie to someone in front of my daughter and later when I caught her lying about something she asked me why I was admonishing her about lying when I do the same thing myself. I simply found myself without an answer. It is better not to lie in front of your kids altogether. They will learn about white lies themselves when they grow up into adults I guess.

  11. Quite good points here. Even now I don’t bother lying to my mom because she simply comes to know when I do. The trust part is so important. In fact it should be mutual.

  12. I too, as a parent cannot take a child lying, psychologists are giving an opinion about the characteristic of the child. The more open a child is to his/her parents, the better it is for the society and for the child himself. He starts living in a world filled with silly lies and considers himself the creator of incidents.

  13. I am tutoring a very troublesome eight year old boy who lies all the time. This being my first time handling kids, I am finding it quite hard at times.
    #MyFriendAlexa #literarylehareads

  14. Lying comes naturally to kids these days. But the fault lies with the parents. You have explained very well but kids see their parents lie and do the same I feel.

  15. Very well researched post surbhi. indeed, all these kind of parenting issues needs to tackle with proper patience. you had covered all points very well. #Surbhireads

  16. Lying is equally common among children as well as adults . I liked your point wise guide of ‘ How to handle and correct the lying child ‘, which again is applicable to few adults too. #MyFriendAlexa #SujatawdeReads

  17. This article is significant. It explains the likely reasons why children lie and how to handle such situations. It will benefit many. Thank you for the share, Surbhi!
    #DeepTiesReads #MyFriendAlexa

  18. This is a very sensitive topic and difficult for parents to come up with relevant solutions.. I believe all parents should read this blog post and take out solutions for their children

  19. Most kids lie for different reasons but as parents its important for us to build a trust with them. Few lies here and there are ok but when they see their parents overreacting whenever kids tell them something, they tend to lie more. Helpful post for parents,

  20. Lying is never a good trait. Instead of constantly reprimanding and discipling the children, we should be friendly with them. We can tell them rights and wrongs in a better way by explaining it to them patiently.

  21. I think there should be more emphasis on practice what you preach. Because when children watch us, there are moments when we lie. Not in a harmful way and not in an obvious way, but the fact that an adult says ‘I am fine’ when he or she is clearly not itself is lying of a type.

  22. I agree that its a debatable topic. I don’t generalise lies. as a mother I have lied million times while nurturing my baby. Eat it…else the ghost will come, There is a Big Monster in Storeroom…Sleep fast else It will come and take you…..just imagine such things. Its not what lies they speak, its WHY the lie…that matters. And I agree with you on those points. lies are not bad if it is spoken in a good intention. That’s how I personally feel. Lovely choice of topic.

  23. Great points u have covered, I also agree that kids lie to avoid punishmentso its our responsibility to give them space where they can share every secrets with us. #MyFriendAlexa #DelhibloggerReads

  24. Can I say how perfect this post is for me, at present!! My kids are in the phase where one is undergoing a war with peer pressure and another is exploring the boundaries beyond her home. I have felt the changes within them. There are times when I could outright tell that they are lying. But I couldn’t find a method of handling the problem. Your post has given me so many tips to handle such situations. Thank you. #readbypreetispanorama

  25. You are right kids lie because they don’t want to face punishment and they are not sure if they can talk about it to their parents. Trust and open door policy is the key. Those little brains need lot of love, positive attitude from parents.

    #MothersGurukulreads #Myfriendalexa

  26. Such an important topic for parents. Every parent should try to create that circle of trust with their kids so that kids can feel comfortable when talking to their parents about anything. And of course, practice what you preach!

  27. Being a mother have learnt a lot from this post, that true kids lie because of the fear, its depend on us how we manage them, so that they stop lying to us and start trusting us that we will not scold them in every truth and will try to understand them

  28. It is a difficult situation when children lie and especially when they have siblings. It is important to be a role model but I guess moms end up becoming a referee only.

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