Why does the child lie?

Everyone cheats, except perhaps babies. And that’s not always a bad thing.When and how children start to lie.Psychologists claim that lying is a sign of the development of complex thinking. The kid begins to deceive when he realizes that the actions and feelings of other people are not predetermined, they can be influenced by words and so turn life situations in their favor.

How a child lies at 2-4 years old

The first lie can be awkward and funny. For example, a toddler may sincerely claim that he hasn’t eaten a chocolate cake, even though the traces of a crime are clearly visible on his face. Or that he didn’t take the toy he was holding behind his back. At this age, the child seems to be trying to taste the opportunity to lie – to check when a lie can work, and when it turns out to be useless.

How a child lies at 3-8 years old

The lie becomes more sophisticated. The child learns to hide the obvious traces of a crime and to hide emotions. Nevertheless, he still gives himself away quite often.

So, in one study of children from 3 to 7 years old left in a room alone with a musical toy that stood behind them. The kids were urged not to watch it play. Most of the children, left alone, of course, turned around. And when the experimenter , returning to the room, asked if the child was peeping, he most often received a negative answer.

The children lied skillfully: experimental adults who were asked to look at the video with the responding babies could not recognize by their faces who was lying and who was not really looking at the toy. But the preschoolers were betrayed by further conversation: almost all the liars in conversation with the experimenter accidentally spoken out, describing the toy or calling it by name.

How a child lies at 9-10 years old

By this age, self-control in children reaches such a degree that they are able to lie surprisingly believable, without giving it away either by appearance or by contradictions in words. However, by the age of 9-10formed and understanding of morality.

Then children realize that lies can be different, and try to lie less often, making an exception mainly for “ lies for the good ” – that is, they hide only the truth that can upset the interlocutor or negatively affect the relationship with him.

As we age, moral self-control tends to increase, which is why the incidence of lying becomes less and less common.

Why does the child lie

If your child only tells lies from time to time, don’t worry. This is a kind of educational lie, an experiment with which the baby checks the boundaries of the world and learns to navigate in it.

But the chronic lie that is repeated every day is cause for concern.

1. The child is afraid of the consequences of the truth.

Adults can lie so as not to anger their superiors or to avoid some unpleasant or overwhelming responsibilities. Children often start lying for the same reasons.

To be honest that many lessons have been asked, it’s easy to be left without a night’s rest. Therefore, it is easier to say: “I did all my homework at school.” If you admit that you have lost a toy, you can listen to many unpleasant accusations and be punished. It’s easier to imagine giving it to a friend for a while. Situations are different, but the bottom line is the same: the child lies to avoid the alleged trouble.

2. The child suffers from self-doubt

Sometimes children lie to raise their status in the eyes of others – because the current one seems too low to them and instills anxiety. This is how stories of invented victories appear: “I answered the best in math” or “and yesterday we played football with the boys, and I scored four goals in a row.”

For the same reason, a child may come up with a long list of expensive gifts that he allegedly received for his birthday. Just because a buddy showed off his new phone. Or talk about amazing travel experiences in response to friends’ summer travel stories.

Uncertainty can also breed aggressive and defiant lies. The child will deceive again and again, as if testing adults for strength: do you love me like that? And so? And if so? Behind such endless lies lies the fear of being left without support . In fact, a lie is an attempt to feel solid ground under our feet, to gain confidence that adults will not quit, no matter what.

3. The child is too impulsive

And not has timethink before you say something. And then he is forced to defend the stated version so as not to lose face.

4. The child has a mental or behavioral disorder

A child or adolescent who suffers from heightened anxiety may chronically lie to avoid frightening situations. For example, feign illness in order to miss a test at school. Or come up with a story that lets you skip a workout or a party.

Also, chronic lies can to bea sign of a serious behavioral disorder – for example, defiant opposition disorder. But in this case, in addition to constant lies, other symptoms arise: disobedience, aggression, deliberate harm to people around them and their things.

5. The child spares the parents

He may lie that school lunches are free and quietly steal money and sandwiches from classmates. Or hide bad grades so as not to upset mom. Or say that everything is in order, and hide the bruises – just not to strain those close ones who are exhausted by the troubles of life with their own problems.

This happens when the family cannot provide support to the child for various reasons. And he, in turn, loves his relatives very much and tries to protect them.

6. The child fantasizes too much

This usually applies to young children, who still have blurred the line between fantasy and reality. Such a child can excitedly talk about robbers he met on a walk or imaginary friends. His delays will always have serious reasons: he met a kitten that had to be moved across the road, or he helped some grandfather start a stalled car. The mess in the nursery is the handiwork of a monster, the missing cake is the cat’s wine, the painted wallpaper “some boy came in and painted”.

In fact, this is not a lie, but a fantastic fairy tale that captivates the child to such an extent that he himself begins to believe in it. With age, closer to school or in elementary grades, children learn to draw a clear line between imagination and reality.

What to do if the child is lying

The main rule: do not punish him in any way. At least until you understand the reasons for the lie. Children who are physically punished for lying beginliemore often. It becomes a way for them to survive.

Children from families where strict rules of behavior and lies are also more active lie. countstotally unacceptable. In this case, the child is forced to hide his inevitable accidental misconduct, since he cannot count on the tolerance of adults.

Child psychologists Penny van Bergen and Carol Newall recommend parents to do so.

1. Make sure it’s a lie

Young children may sincerely fail to see the difference between reality and fantasy. If a monster made a mess in the nursery, this is not at all because the child is lying to spite you or wants to avoid responsibility . Life for him is a big playground. And the task of the parents is to gently, through play, teach the kid responsibility.

There are also more dangerous situations. Sometimes children voice things to their parents that “just can’t be!”. For example, about the terrible attitude of the teacher to the students. Even if you do not really believe in this, it is important to double-check such information first, and then make a decision.

2. Demonstrate to your child that you love him and he can count on you

The child should know that if he stumbles, they will support him and help him cope with the situation. If parents help to glue a broken vase or figure out a difficult school topic, because of which a test was filled up, the fear of failure and accidental missteps will gradually disappear in children. And over time, lying will cease to be a way to protect yourself.

3. Talk to your child about the emotional and moral aspects of the incident.

“You broke the vase and didn’t tell me because you were afraid that I would be upset, right?” – such a phrase will help the child to realize the motives of his actions. “I’m really a little upset. But we can fix everything, let’s think about how ”- and this will tune in to find a solution to the problem.

Discussing emotions allows children to understand what lies are, what inner experiences make them lie, and how this affects others and themselves.

4. Support your child when he is telling the truth.

Being honest and open is dignified and makes you strong, not vulnerable. Transmit this thought to the child and try not to punish, but to reward for the truth.

5. Consult a child psychologist

If the lying becomes uncontrollable, spoils relationships with others and is accompanied by other behavioral disorders, for example, demonstrative disobedience and aggression, it makes sense to contact a child psychologist. You can find a suitable specialist yourself or ask your pediatrician for recommendations.

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