Why Do Kids Lie

When trying to figure out how to stop kids from lying, parents should first examine the reasons why the behavior is occurring in the first place. Kids and teens lie for a variety of reasons.

1. Kids lie to avoid punishment and getting in trouble for something they’ve done. It is much easier for a teenager to blame the scrape on the side on a hit and run fellow driver in a parking lot than to take responsibility for causing the scrape due to not paying attention while operating the vehicle. Siblings blame a broken toy on each other or on the family dog instead of admitting that they were the ones who broke it.

2. Some kids lie to amuse themselves. Parents often overlook this reason that some children use withholding the truth simply as a way of manipulating adults and watching adults pursue the wrong avenue to solve a problem based on the lie. For example, kids might make up a story just so they can watch the parent’s reaction such as claiming falsely that a sibling got injured playing outside so they can watch the parent frantically run outside for nothing.

3. Another reason children lie is to get what they want. An example of this is a child lying that his or her homework is finished because completed homework means time for video games or outdoor play. Telling the truth would mean the kid would have to do schoolwork when he or she doesn’t want to. Another example that would fall into this category is lying to obtain an item. Kids might tell one parent that the other one said it was ok to have more cookies or to get a new toy from the store.

Although there are other causes for lying kids that would be a good topic for another post, there’s one more that I want to mention here and this is one for parents to really ponder.

4. Some kids lie because they are emulating the same behavior they see their parents exhibiting!

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