Why do Kids lie?

Why do Kids lie? Banner
Why do Kids lie? Banner
Why do Kids lie? Banner

Those were days when we used to walk back home from school enjoying the occasional orange bar or "barf ka gola" from street vans. I was a child of three when I used to come back from school with my elder brother. On the way back home, There was my friend's home and she had a big guava tree which was laden with yummy fruits throughout the year which I had set my eyes on. Once I just left early with my friend to her home so that my brother couldn't say no for visiting her and went her home.

Keeping the bags aside, we started climbing the tree and sitting on its bulky branches had a tummy-full yummy guava eating session. It was some two hours later, her grandfather asked me if he could drop me home to which I said yes! While on the way, I was too scared to face my mother as I had skipped from school without my brother's notice and was expecting my mother to be hell mad at me for this irresponsible behavior as she did to my brother many times when he violated his limits. My friend's grandfather left me till the door and went back, I was just frustrated and clueless as what I am going to tell my mother about my whereabouts.

My brother opened and door and yelled back- mom, she's home. My mom came with in fraction of moment and hugged me. I could see her face red and swollen from continuous crying. I felt bad for her and sorry for my behaviour making me sit on her lap, she asked me where I was? As I was just three and couldn't rationally think any excuse to justify my act, I promptly said- I got hit by an elephant and showed her the scratches which i got while climbing guava tree! For a second I was stoned to think even the upcoming but my mom bursted with a roaring laughter. This is a real life incident from my life where I lied to my mom to avoid scolding but have you ever thought why do kids lie?

Kids lie for many reasons as there are many stages for lies.

Stage one- Young kids' life revolves around home/pre-school/park/malls and the source of influence are parents/grandparents/elder siblings. Their imagination is all time high and they live in their own make belief world. They are not deliberate liars but just denying what they have done. Younger kids are often told by their parents that "liars are bad and you shouldn't lie to your parents otherwise everyone will call you bad.

  • Good kids don't hit others
  • Good kids don't eat too much cookies or chocolates
  • Good kids don't snatch things from others
  • Good kids wait for their turn
  • Good kids don't speak ill or harsh with others.

These are some examples which are given just to understand the psychology of a small child. As for all small kids the first reason to lie is to "not becoming bad" as becoming bad has become such a big taboo for them due to continuous preaching about "good vs bad". You might understand that younger kids are most likely to get caught while lying because majorly their excuses are childish or illogical. Younger kids do have a pattern to repeat small lies and its more easier to make them stop lying than when they grow up.

Stage two- Kids above four go to formal school, making their contacts with outer world, getting influenced from their surroundings, have television exposure other than rhymes and cartoons and the topmost is that their logical mind is getting activated and they can differentiate between what excuse will work and what can make them caught! Kids above four years become smarter day by day and their rational and logical mind is getting trained as well. They have more self control while lying as by this age they know what people will think of them! These kids lie to make their wrong acts go unnoticed.

Stage three- Kids above ten are more smarter due to exposure they have been through and peer exchange of information and are more likely to lie which seems like a perfect truth. Their logical and analytical minds are completely developed as lying become an art for this age group of kids. They know that lying requires more of organised thinking with lots of pros and cons have to be decided beforehand. They check before how the other person will take their cooked stories. They structurally create and maintain the stories till your patience lasts. These kids know how to hide their secrets in the disguise of lies and are more likely to lie many times a day as they are exploring the world from much more curiosity and are bridging the gap between.

Childhood and adolescence.

People lie as its a human tendency to protect themselves and their little secrets. The point is how to catch a lie and stop kids from becoming compulsive liars. Stay tuned to the second part of my series.

Published on: 24th October 2019

FAQ's

Kids start lying at the age of 3 years. 

Encourage your child to tell the truth by telling the importance of honesty.

Children start lying to cover something up so they don’t get into trouble.

Praise your child when they own their mistake. Be a role model for telling the truth.