A proud parent can be frightened by the fact that their little one has just learned to lie and is using this skill shamelessly. On the other hand, can you imagine if your child only spoke the truth? Of course, you should not turn a blind eye to lies that can harm someone. How can you prevent innocent fantasies from turning into sophisticated lies? Is it really necessary to be afraid when a child lies?
Natural concerns of a parent
It is understandable that we want our children to grow up to be decent, honest people who will not have problems building relationships with others. It’s no wonder that even small lies that come out of children’s mouths can arouse fear in us, and we begin to wonder if our child has fallen into the “wrong” company or has some problems
Lies and Fantasy
A child sees the world differently than an adult and may not fully understand the difference between fiction and reality (a two-year-old may not see the distinction). It is a new concept for them, which they learn by observing their environment for a long time. Only children aged 8-10 years begin to be able to formulate their own judgments – to point out what is good and what is bad, so accusing a small child of lying and demanding reflection and improvement from them does not make sense.
Small children often play and function in the world of their imagination. Thus, it happens that they talk about something that happened in the game, in their imagination, and for us adults, it is sometimes incomprehensible.
Why does a child lie, or start lying intentionally?
Most often, it is out of fear of their parents, teacher, or punishment. When children begin to associate some of their misdeeds, they will want to avoid telling the truth. This reaction is related to anxiety – one of the most basic human instincts. None of us like it when someone yells at us or insults us.
Children also begin to lie when they feel inferior to their peers – they have a great need for their environment to accept them. Parents often forget or ignore this need and tell their children that regardless of what others think of them, they do not need the latest pen to be cool or wear branded clothing. It is worth making a little effort and taking care of our child to be well-groomed and occasionally have a new backpack, clothing, shoes, or school supplies, thanks to which they will feel just as good as other children. Young people want to impress their friends. If they cannot do this, it is possible that they will lie to improve their image in the eyes of other children.
We start lying when we realize that lying can help us achieve our goals.
It’s worth signaling to a child (especially if it’s a harmless lie) that we’re aware when they’re telling the truth and when they’re lying. Admitting guilt, as well as gaining the ability to apologize, gives strength and teaches that being good pays off in healthy relationships with loved ones.