Why Do Kids Lie?
Parents are usually concerned with teaching their kids to be honest and to always tell the truth. However, the reality is that they, most of the time, do the opposite. When parents lie to their kids, it may hurt them deeply, though it may seem to be only a white lie for parents. White lies can snowball into bigger lies and the problem is that kids learn to lie from those instances. Kids can also learn to lie from the outside world such as mass media, relatives, peers, and more. It becomes so hard for parents to control what their kids learn from the outside or protect them from what they see or hear.
Kids can start to tell lies at an early age, especially when they start to realize that their parents cannot read their minds and that providing false information can protect them from punishment, blame or trouble. The more kids understand how their parents and people in general think, the more they excel at telling sophisticated lies.
In this context, Dr. Phil states in one of his TV show Parenting: The Biggest Nightmares that kids do not lie only in a highly strict environment, but they also lie when the parents are highly permissive and give too much freedom to their kids. He adds that when kids are permitted to do whatever they want, they do things that seem to be right at first and then they discover that they were wrong. They may want to lie in order to cover up past mistakes and hide those things.
The fact that kids tell their parents lies do not mean that they are undermining them or they should be labeled liars. Such things will only promote more lying. On the contrary, parents should look at their kids’ perspective and try to understand what led them to the lie. Parents should also be positive by appreciating to be told the truth and showing their kids that they feel sad and disappointed when they lie. Honesty is very important in the family. So, parents should encourage their kids to tell the truth by praising them for being honest. They need to deal wisely with situations that push their kids to lie. They should understand that lying is not acceptable.