​Is Lying Actually Good for Kids?

The subsequent time your little one vehemently denies consuming any sweet (regardless that the chocolate smeared on her face tells a special story) or says “It wasn’t me!” whereas standing subsequent to the shards of what was your favourite vase, don’t panic. According to researchers, catching your little one telling tall tales marks a key milestone of their cognitive improvement.

Dr. Kang Lee, a professor on the University of Toronto, has spent greater than 20 years finding out how and why children lie and is satisfied that the emergence of such habits in toddlers should be a cause for celebration, not alarm. He considers the habits a reassuring signal that youngsters’ cognitive progress is heading in the right direction and that it doesn’t essentially point out that they’re primed for a lifetime of bother.

Small Kids, Tall Tales

If you’re continually floored by your child’s blatant deception and fear that she or he can be a pathological liar by the point they hit adolescence, this could put your thoughts comfy: It’s completely regular childhood habits.

Even extra comforting is the conclusion that almost all kids inform fibs in some unspecified time in the future. Research exhibits that youngsters begin mendacity at a very young age, with 30 p.c of verbal 2-year-olds giving it a go. By age three about half of them are doing it and at age four the quantity goes as much as 80 p.c. By the time children get to ages 5 to 7 practically all of them can pull off a convincing lie. So your children are in good firm.

As kids develop, they experiment with the reality with various levels of elaboration — and success. Toddlers are solely beginning to develop their sense of self and don’t fairly grasp the distinction between reality and fiction so that they inform basic self-serving lies, often known as main lies, that are simple to catch. However, they do change into better liars with age. By age 7 or eight they’ve progressed to tertiary lies and may make follow-up statements to maintain their untruths constant, stumping most adults.

A Sign of Healthy Child Development

Catching your child in a lie may be troubling but it surely seems that it’s an indication of their wholesome improvement. Research performed by Dr. Lee and others means that kids who lie have:

  • Better government functioning abilities. Simply put, executive functions are a set of psychological abilities that show you how to keep on job and get issues executed. They show you how to handle your self and the sources accessible to attain a aim. As analysis has proven, children who lie exhibit good working reminiscence, which is required to recollect particulars of the reality and separate it from their fibs. They even have higher inhibitory management, proven by how they squelch the urge to inform the reality in addition to the flexibility to shift focus, plan forward and undergo with the lie.
  • More superior cognitive improvement. Cognitive improvement refers to how an individual thinks, explores and figures out the world. Children who lie have a heightened skill to see the world from one other individual’s perspective, what is named the Theory of Mind. This helps them notice that their actions may make you distressed, indignant or upset, inflicting them to make use of lies to cowl up what they’ve executed.
  • Higher verbal IQ. Coming up with properly crafted tales includes a fancy course of and is indicative of your little one’s verbal intelligence. To provide you with a lie, your child wants to investigate data and use language to strive cause with you and properly…let you know a lie. This exhibits that they will course of data and resolve issues utilizing language-based reasoning.
  • Higher creativity. Some of the tall tales our youngsters weave are actual feats of creativeness. It’s fairly spectacular what they will provide you with from imaginary pals to tales of journey. Whichever means you have a look at it, it takes creativity to tug off a reputable lie.

What to Do When Kids Lie

Knowing that mendacity is an indicator of a kid’s intelligence presents fairly a paradox for folks. Sure mendacity may imply your child is clever, however you additionally need them to be sincere. So how will you get them to worth honesty?

For starters, notice that corporal punishment might be counterproductive. Instead, use extra constructive messaging and suggestions to emphasise the advantages of honesty. So present your approval everytime you catch your child being sincere. Additionally, cultivating an setting of open communication with your kids will assist them really feel comfy speaking and disclosing the reality.

Above all, be position mannequin to your children to emulate. Children are eager observers and seeing you being dishonest will undermine your message of honesty. So watch what you do and say.


Evans, A. D., & Lee, Ok. Emergence of Lying in Very Young Children. (2013, October). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3788848/#R24    

Sundance Academy. Improving Communication with Your Teen – Infographic. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.sundancecanyonacademy.com/improving-communication-with-your-teen-infographic/

Talwar, V., Gordon, H. M., & Lee, Ok. Lying within the Elementary School Years. (2007, May). Retrieved  from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2597097/

Talwar V., & Lee, Ok. Development of mendacity to hide a transgression: Children’s management of expressive behaviour throughout verbal deception. (2002). Retrieved from http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1080/01650250143000373

Toddlers who lie ‘will do higher’. (2010, May 17). Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/news/10119297