7 Reasons Why Kids Lie and What to Do About It

7 Reasons Why Kids Lie and What to Do About It

Why Kids Lie

Honesty is a value that must be instilled from childhood. Otherwise, the lie will become something uncontrollable that can harm the future of their children. 

Many “white” lies of children seek to achieve their own benefit. Teach your children that certain lies can be harmful to them.

One of the questions that many parents worry about is:

How to get their children to learn to tell the truth? 

How to get their children to learn to tell the truth?

When children grow up and make lying part of their daily lives, it can become a serious problem that will have to be treated and diagnosed by specialists.

Unfortunately, parents are the first to make mistakes that cause their little ones to learn to lie.

As they often threaten or promise something without actually doing it, all with the aim of making their children obey. 

For example: 

  • “If you eat vegetables, you can go out to play”
  • “If you don’t pick up your toys, you won’t go to the park”

But Why Kids Lie?

7 Reasons Why Kids Lie and What to Do About It

Lies, in the case of children, can be classified as stately. Since many of them are told not to deceive but for their own well-being, 

for example:

1. They want to be nice

It is common for children to start creating or inventing stories to empathize with other children.

It is a way to approach the world of play and fantasy

Usually, they lie about things they observe or have around them, maybe it could be a favorite story or cartoon.

2. The center of attention

It often happens that in the world of adults some little ones feel displaced.

For this reason, they want to attract attention and constantly lie. They usually make jokes or say things they don’t do to alert their parents. 

For example, they often say that they saw an insect in their room and it was not true, or that they cut their pet’s hair.

These kinds of lies should not worry parents, all they have to do is offer quality time to their little ones.

Which they are claiming without saying it. It is time to be with them and instill values ​​through good examples.

3. To imitate

When parents often tell white lies in front of their children, they will do the same, since they are imitating their example. 

Children realize that there are no consequences and that these lies are valid to tell at all times. 

Therefore, you must be careful about what you say and do.

Since your little ones are like small sponges that absorb everything they see around them.

4. They don’t want punishment

It is normal for little ones to become too distressed when they make a mistake.

Because they do not want to fail their parents for fear of losing their love, affection, and attention. 

For that reason, children lie to avoid punishment or punishment. 

It is common for these lies to occur when children do not respect the rules or regulations, such as: 

  • not having finished their homework 
  • or having cleaned their room; 

In that case, they say they have already done so and it turns out not.

At this point, it is important that you teach your children that mistakes are a natural part of acquiring knowledge.

And that they should not be ashamed when they make mistakes, much less lie to avoid the consequences of their actions.

5. Fear of saying they don’t know

In the world of children, it is common for them to mock or laugh at their peers or friends when they are unaware of something. 

So to prevent others from making fun they tell lies since they want to avoid shame or feel bad for not having that knowledge.

Also because they do not want to be branded as stupid or ignorant. 

It is like a protective shield that makes you feel strong and confident.

In this case, it will be important to tell your children that there is nothing wrong with not knowing things.

And that asking is good when you have doubts since no person in the world knows everything.

6. They are loyal

If your children live with their siblings or friends, it is normal for them to tell lies to protect them from having done any trouble. 

Your children are loyal and are afraid to expose them since they do not want them to be punished. 

Remember that since childhood the value of friendship is a deep-rooted value.

Since it is important to always have a companion for games and adventures.

7. Hide something

Maybe they can tell you that they feel bad because they don’t want to go to school or do something they don’t like, or they lie to you out of fear. 

At this point, it is important to know in depth the reason for the lies, since it can happen in the worst-case situation.

That your little one is being the victim of bullying and is lying because he was threatened.

Teaching kids to tell the truth

Children start lying about three to four years old for different linguistic or social reasons. 

According to experts, when children start to communicate they usually say things:

  • that are out of reality, 
  • inventing stories that complement their development, 
  • imagination 
  • and creativity. 

In the social aspect, they do so because they are aware of social rules or regulations and fear not meeting the expectations that adults impose on them.

Therefore, it is important to understand that this beginning is part of the development of your children.

And that it is not bad for them to do so; however, it is the ideal time to instill and form values ​​such as honesty and sincerity.

In this way, you can teach them how harmful lies are to their life.

I’ve found six practices helpful in fostering honesty in children by thegospelcoalition.org:

  1. Pray
  2. Teach That God Is Truthful
  3. Model Truth-Telling Yourself, Especially When It’s Costly
  4. Talk to Your Kids About Telling the Truth
  5. Reward Kids for Truth-Telling
  6. Having Underscored Honesty, Also Teach Discernment

If you want more tips on how to teach your child to tell the truth, please take a look at this article by thegospelcoalition.org: How to Teach Kids to Tell the Truth

Conclusion About Why Kids Lie


In conclusion, children often lie not because they want to harm others, but for their own convenience.

For wanting to attract the attention of their parents and for fear of failing to meet their expectations.

Since for them, the most important thing is the love and affection they receive from their parents and their friends.

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Recommended books for teaching honesty, including not lying or stealing.

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