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Why Do Children Tell Lies?

December 16, 2011  by: Paulose  Points: 15   Category: Others    Views: 568

A Chinese proverb says, "Children's mouths speak the truth." If you listen to the words that come out of the mouths of babes you will find out that they are too innocent to speak lies. Then why do they say lies when they grow up?


Telling lies is a common problem found among children. If the habit persists as they grow up it is a sign of more serious problems. Children usually resort to lie in their tender age not just a way out of a fix but as an expression of deeply-rooted anxieties. Parents and others should understand the seriousness of this problem and try to correct the child in the early stage itself.

What is a lie?

Falsehood or a lie is an untruthful statement with a deceptive intention. It is a statement against real fact or truth. It is told with the idea of convincing the hearer. Moral code says it is a sin.

Reasons for children telling lies

1) One of the most common reasons for children to lie at a very early age is to avoid being punished, or to avoid something unpleasant from others.

2) They may tell lies to protect others whom they love from some harmful situation.

3) Children who are very fearful of disappointing their parents may resort to tell lies in an attempt to deal with the pressure of being overwhelmed by some situation.

4) Sometimes children may tell lies to get the attention from persons who matter to them. They make use of lying to be recognized and given importance.

5) When parents or elders expect from the children some performance beyond their capabilities, it causes pressure on them which makes the children evade the situation by telling lies. When the children are overburdened with too many rules and expectations children have no other go to escape so easily as telling lies.

6) Expectation of favoritism induce children lie. This they use against their peers or others whom they do not like. In order to win the favor of someone, children happen to tell lies.

7) Bad examples of parents and elders induce children to lie. By telling things which children know for certain that they are not true encourage them to follow their bad habit of lying.

8) If a child finds that telling lie is a successful strategy for handling difficult situations, the bad habit will stick with the child.

Parents worried about children telling lies

Parents are puzzled when they suspect or find their children telling lies. Telling lies create a lot of problems at school as well as at home. It becomes a serious problem when lying becomes habitual or compulsive. It is a great concern on the parents and the mentors to prevent this practice before it becomes a habit. By showing good examples and by advising the children patiently parents can protect them from this bad habit. Honesty, sincerity, ethics and morals are to be inculcated in children at a very early age through a positive approach.


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