Why Do Children Lie?

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Children might lie because they:

Are not old enough to understand the difference between truth and untruth, and right or wrong.

Fear of punishment or fear of losing their parents’ affection.

Have low self-esteem and wanting to make themselves to sound better.

Want to impress their friends and to fit in with the group.

They really believe that what they are saying is true – it is how things seem to them.

Are copying other people. Parents might say that lying is wrong but not always tell the truth themselves, i.e. when someone is at the door and a parent says to the child, “Tell them I am not at home.”

Are saying what they wish was true. For example, “My dad always takes me to the football”.

Older children and teenagers may tell lies because:

They fear that if they tell the truth they will not be allowed to do something they really want to do.

They have a need to keep some parts of their lives private and not share them with parents.

If you notice when your child lies it may help you understand why, i.e. is it when they are with friends, just to one person, or when they are upset?

Try to understand why your child is not telling the truth. There may be something you can help with.