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The truth about lying


“ As a mother, I’ve noticed moments where my child tells lies. I’m curious about this behaviour. Why do kids sometimes choose to tell lies? What might be going on in their young minds that leads to this behaviour?”

Children may lie for various reasons. One common cause is the fear of punishment; children might believe that admitting to their actions will lead to harsh consequences or make their parents disappointed. Past experiences of negative outcomes when admitting to mistakes can reinforce this fear.

To gain more insight, imagine a scenario where your child has accidentally broken a valuable item in the house. If he/she believes that admitting to the truth will lead to a harsh punishment or severe disappointment from the parents, he may choose to lie about it, hoping to escape the negative consequences.

In their young minds, lying seems like the safer option to protect themselves from perceived harm. They believe that by providing false information or denying their involvement in a situation, they can avoid the punishment they anticipate.

Moreover, they are also afraid from parents embarrassing or shaming them, especially if they believe their action as socially unacceptable. This can create a cycle where children continue to lie in an attempt to safeguard themselves.

Children may lie to gain attention as well. They may exaggerate stories to make their lives seem more interesting. This attention-seeking behavior often stems from a natural desire to feel special, boost self-esteem, or fit in with peers.

Lying can also be caused from lack of impulse control. Where they don’t think much of the consequence of their actions. Another cause is to test the boundaries of acceptable behavior or protect others, like a sibling or friend, from getting into trouble, even if it involves deception.

Children may not understand that admitting mistakes and taking responsibility is a more constructive approach. They might not realize that parents often value honesty and may be more understanding when their child is truthful, even when facing misbehavior.

Therefore, parents can encourage their children to stop lying by openly discussing the importance of truthfulness, teaching problem-solving skills, and alternative ways to say it. From there, the children know that their parents will understand and help them learn from their mistakes instead of punishing them harshly. This trust and support make it easier for kids to be honest and grow from their experiences.


(The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Daily Tribune)