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Parenting Positive Kids Parenting Positive Kids

Why Your Child's First Lie is Cause for Celebration

Posted by on Sep. 3, 2013 at 8:43 PM
  • 20 Replies

By Blythe Copeland

    

While your child's first lie isn't the kind of milestone you put in the baby book, Stroller Derby points out that its still a big deal -- and in a good way, says Frances Stott, PhD, on Scholastic's blog. 

Here's why you should be just a little bit proud the first time your child makes up a story instead of telling the truth: It's a sign that he's developing key traits, like perspective, independence, and control of his emotions, that will serve him well in the long run. 

"The first successful lie can be pegged as a developmental achievement because it marks the child's discovery that her mind and thinking are separate from her parents'," writes Stott. (This often goes hand-in-hand with learning the word "no," Stott says, "which helps young children delineate the boundaries between their own desires, thoughts, and feelings, and those of others.")

As kids grow up, their ability to lie successfully improves in part because they're more able to predict what their parents and teachers will and won't believe. A three-year-old, for example, might tell you a wandering story about an obviously made-up event that happened at the park, because he's not able to assess your interpretation of what he's saying. A six year old, on the other hand, knows that a lie he tells will need to fit in with knowledge you already have in order to be believable.

So what should you do when your child starts lying? Stott offers several suggestions, including giving yourself time to calm down before you decide on a punishment, choosing consequences that will appeal to your child's conscience, and talking to them about the logical side of lying (a few tellings of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" can help with this one).

But most of all, says Stott, don't get upset -- after all, with adults reporting that they lie on average 13 times a week, your kids probably learned to fib from you.

Photo: Jupiterimages/Thinkstock

by on Sep. 3, 2013 at 8:43 PM
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Replies (1-10):
sukainah
by Bronze Member on Sep. 3, 2013 at 10:41 PM

Wow,13 times a week!  I better get busy learning how to stop this now! lol

arpazia
by Bronze Member on Sep. 3, 2013 at 11:40 PM
I get that.
Makes perfect sense if you think about it
TheBabyFactory4
by Bronze Member on Sep. 4, 2013 at 1:25 AM
True. I know I lie a lot. And sometimes its to my kids. Lol
Bob192
by Crystal on Sep. 4, 2013 at 2:08 AM

Hmm!  I'll have to work on that!

elasmimi
by on Sep. 4, 2013 at 7:17 AM

Hard not to get upset.

butzi
by Member on Sep. 4, 2013 at 10:00 AM
1 mom liked this
Sometimes kids lie out of a desire for that alternate reality. They wish so badly for it to be true that they just keep saying what they hope for.
Kaci
by on Sep. 20, 2013 at 1:08 PM
Exactly! And sometimes it stays with them and they don't stop lying. Ugh

Quoting butzi:

Sometimes kids lie out of a desire for that alternate reality. They wish so badly for it to be true that they just keep saying what they hope for.
Kaci
by on Sep. 20, 2013 at 1:12 PM
Oh so very true! But take it from me , the more attention they get from lying the more they may lie and continue as they get older.

Quoting elasmimi:

Hard not to get upset.

dusky_rose
by Sue on Sep. 20, 2013 at 1:27 PM
1 mom liked this

Ds is learning that a lie will get him in more trouble that telling the truth, even if it's about something wrong.


la_bella_vita
by on Sep. 20, 2013 at 1:29 PM

 Interesting

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