Why Kids Lie
Parenting Tips & Talks

Why do kids lie? These 5 answers may really surprise you.

Why do kids lie? The answer may really surprise you.

Every parent goes through a situation; where they find that their child is lying to them; you may be one of them.

Lies from a child seem silly and cute many times, but as the child grows older, this can become a habit.

If you think that only your child is lying, then you are wrong. Every growing toddler who is at the stage of learning may face some circumstance where they lie.

Researches show that children start lying from the age of 3-4 years. This may reach a peak between the age of 8-10 years. These are the new characters taking their playful steps in the world which is full of new things for them.

why do kids lie?

Instead of focusing on how many times the child lied in a day and blaming them, understanding ‘why do they lie?’ is the most important thing for parents. According to the famous psychologist Erik Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development, childhood is the crucial time in which the child gradually develops as an independent personality. Between the age of 3-5 children begin to assert their power and control over the world through direct social interactions. This is the stage where children usually start lying.

why do kids lie?

Something that is missing from a few days is spotted in a child’s playroom and the child lies when asked about it. This is a very common situation the parents come across. Children’s mind makes them to hustle and bustle for exploring the things around. Grabbing things, putting on the floor, observing everything that catches their attention, not giving things back if asked involve in their daily routine. Children usually take the things that they find most eye-catchy and exciting. They try to lie when asked about it. It is just because they want to play more with it and don’t want to lose it. The immature and childish mind thinks that it will be snatched from them.

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Life is as simple as a storybook for them. Children make tall stories and try to make you believe that story. This is how they try to put their power for the very first time in the world. This is where the role of parents begins.

Why do kids lie and what parents can do?

If you understand an infant’s cartoon-like mind, it gets easier for you to respond wisely. This response can leave a lifelong impact on their personality.


What if, you find an ice-cream cup missing from the kitchen and a toddler having sticky hands with ice-cream says, “NO, I didn’t eat.” and laughs.

Are you expected to yell and blame the child as a thief…? Absolutely not! Yelling a lot can make the children believe that the people around, don’t understand them or they have done a big mistake and may lose self-confidence.

why do kids lie?


Parent’s behavior is a live example for a child to get familiar with this world. Try to set an example that you want to see in them. If you get arrogant to people, lie frequently, and try not to keep your surroundings clean, you should not expect children to have ideal behavior as might be the role model for them. Because the children do, what they observe.

Sometimes you find your doorbell ranged by unwanted guests but you need to say, “it is a pleasure to meet you.” This is an example of a lie for not hurting people. This should be explained to the child during the interactions with them.

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To keep the child away from the habit of lying making them familiar with the benefits of truth is important. Talk about the serious consequences of telling lie. Put the ball in their court sometimes.

Ask what they would feel if the parents lie with them. Children’s responses can make you aware of their thinking process. To grow the child towards better things you must try to know them as well.


Storytelling and listening is the part that children enjoy the most. When you tell a story, the child’s mind begins to imagine the situations. Imagination leads to remembering things for a long time. Characters in the stories can make images of dynamic behavior for the child. If any character steals something and a lie safeguards it from the trouble then the child may believe that telling lies can work in any situation.


While taking steps towards denying the child from speaking lies, rewarding honesty can have a great impact. Appreciating children for something is the happy part that they always remember. If the child honestly gives back the things that had taken, you must adore the moment. When an infant tells truth, you must love them for this. Remember what you allow, is what you continue.

Don’ts for parents

In reaction to a child’s lie, parents should avoid doing the following things.

  • Don’t yell a lot.
  • Don’t blame them as a liar.
  • Never beat them for this. Remember child stores joyful as well as sad situations in mind.
  • Don’t punish them harshly.
  • Don’t make them feel so bad that they lose self-confidence.
  • Never abuse the child verbally or physically.
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Even after all the efforts if the child is lying frequently, being aggressive, showing no acceptable behavior with other children then there comes a matter of concern. Guidance from professionals can help you to overcome this.

All the parents care about their child but one should respect them as well.

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Why do kids lie?

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