Why Do Children Tell Lies?

vpaulose By vpaulose, 22nd Dec 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/19a9m36o/
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Education

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?

Why do children resort to tell lies?


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.

Tags

Exemplary Life, Favoritism, Fear, Habit, Honesty, Telling Lie, Truth

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Comments

author avatar Jerry Walch
22nd Dec 2011 (#)

Great article, Vpaulose, I just wish that you had mentioned the "Lie of Omission." By not speaking the truth but keeping silent on important matters can , sometimes, be just as much a lie as verbalizing an untruth is a lie.

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author avatar chrysolite
22nd Dec 2011 (#)

Lie of omission, I do so agree with that! Thanks Jerry!

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author avatar vpaulose
26th Dec 2011 (#)

Thank you dear brother Jerry

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author avatar Retired
22nd Dec 2011 (#)

Children learn from observing adults and other children around them, just the way we learn from other people around us.

As a Call Centre Trainer, I have heard parents training their kids to tell lies on the phone.
For Example: I had a four year old tell me just yesterday, that the mother was sleeping and the father was at work despite calling out to the mum.
The mum taught the child to lie on the phone and I heard it too.

The mistake lies in the parenting skills and above all we have to understand that a child starts with a small world of his parents and extended family and then moves to the outer world of other children and adults before mixing with people beyond that. It is always the smallest world that gives the highest influence to the child and it has bearings on the foundation of development for them.

The correction skills lie with the parents, correct them properly, train them well, they will give the same treatment, if not better back to you.
In other words whatever you say or do has bearings on your upbringing as that is the source of the initial discipline and development of personality and the rest of it piled on are attitudes and beliefs which change through the course of life.
The first six years of a childs life is the most important to prevent the above.
As a parent myself I know I have made it a point to correct my son when he comes telling me lies and he dare not lie as gets caught and cross questioned, moreover, I treat him like a friend, he tells me everything and its the same with me, I tell my family everything till date and likewise --- builds a better bond.
Kids also come home with other peoples things and mine has done that too and I have made him go back and return it to the person and supervised it too. This includes gifts too, I find out from the teacher (I used to ask for a note in the bag initially) as kids tell me they gave. Would rather clarify it. I have returned cars, pencils, erasers, clothes to name a few for my chap and he did tell me the first three were given, the latter was more because he soiled them.
Today, he tells his friends and teachers not mine and openly tells the truth to everyone for he knows he gets a reward for that. He has also told me about things he observes around him, tried to enact it out too. Thats a child for you, they observe, learn and incorporate it into their own being as part of their personality. Its called curiosity.

Former Montessori teacher and presently a music teacher, this is from observation and behavioural patterns apart from study.

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author avatar vpaulose
26th Dec 2011 (#)

Thank you dear Aiyanna for your thiughtful comments.

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author avatar chrysolite
22nd Dec 2011 (#)

Well, vpaulose, surely a very good article, no doubt! But ...

Has anybody thought that when a kid grows up it gets told lies daily and it also finds out the truth. Therefore it thinks that telling lies is ok even if parents tell it that it's not.

No sooner do we go to school, when lying, cheating and embezzlement because the mandatory subject to learn, otherwise we'd fail school!

So what's the hypocrisy? Santa is a lie, Easter bunny is a lie, marriage in white and a married life happy for ever after is a lie. And so it goes on.

I have written an article on Wikinut: School of Life - Introduction on that should anybody be interested.

This very week, I saw a video on YouTube that stated that we are told between 20 and 200 lies PER DAY! Advertising, movies, marketing, websites, books, you name it! It takes absolutely serious studying to cut through that!

And how do you personally know you are not telling lies. You are, as we all are, because we repeat trustingly information from our peers which are incorrect.

My brother and I were so lucky that our parents didn't tell us all those lies and supported us through school and in early working life to cut through all the lies and it has made us happy people. I can't thank my parents enough!!!

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author avatar Jack Vorster
23rd Dec 2011 (#)

You had good parents,,chrysolite. No doubt they diligently applied Prov. 22:6. "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it".

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author avatar chrysolite
25th Dec 2011 (#)

Exactly, Jack, I will cite this proverb in future as well! Thank you for it!

But train up a child doesn't mean to lie to the child and beat it - NO WAY!

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author avatar chrysolite
22nd Dec 2011 (#)

Sorry, I'm getting this keyboard too hot! I just re-read your article!

So kids lie to avoid punishment! When will parents finally accept and bloody well learn that kids don't need punishment, but teaching patiently. But no, parents still punish kids. WHY?????

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author avatar Jack Vorster
23rd Dec 2011 (#)

Calm down, chrysolite. By applying Prov. 22:6 your parents did not need to apply Prov. 23:13 and Prov. 29:15. The basic reason for the condition of man lies in Psalm 51:5. As soon as children are able to speak, this truth begins to emerge and continues on into adulthood. That is why we all need Salvation.

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author avatar chrysolite
25th Dec 2011 (#)

Well, in this case my parents and in fact the whole family has been saved! I'm really glad about that, because it does make for a happy life.

So when will we see Salvation of parents? They all could make the effort!

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author avatar Sheila Newton
23rd Dec 2011 (#)

What an excellent argument you make here. A super article, my friend.

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author avatar vpaulose
26th Dec 2011 (#)

Thank you dear sister Sheila.

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author avatar Jules, The Cowboy
23rd Dec 2011 (#)

i remember my son saying "Papa" when he saw one of the good-looking actors in our country in a TV commercial.... i wish he's not telling a lie.....LOL

he's only 1 yr old and 5 months at that time

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author avatar vpaulose
26th Dec 2011 (#)

Telling lie also has become a modern style. Thank you dear Jules.

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author avatar chrysolite
25th Dec 2011 (#)

Funny, no doubt. But do you really think a baby of 1 year and 5 month should watch TV?

My father in law called TV the "devil's fishtank".

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author avatar vpaulose
26th Dec 2011 (#)

Yes it is a funny name. Thank you dear sister.

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