Why Do Kids Lie and How to Stop Them?

Why Do Kids Lie and How to Stop Them?

Kids lie for a variety of reasons, with the most important being that they are afraid of getting in trouble. They may also be lying to keep you happy and avoid disappointing you. Find out more about this common behaviour and how to stop it in this article.

Why Do Kids Lie?

Most kids lie because they’re afraid of getting in trouble. They might think that if they lie, the problem will go away or other people won’t make a big deal out of it. It’s important to set clear expectations for your children and let them know when you’ll be able to help them.

Most parents find that it is more effective to ask questions rather than accuse their children of lying. For example, you could ask “did you forget to call me?” rather than accusing your child of lying.

It’s important to show empathy and acknowledge your child’s feelings when they seem guilty about something. This will encourage them to try and solve the problem on their own without resorting to lying again.

What are the Effects of Lying on Your Child?

Lying can have a negative impact on your child’s character. If you’re not sure when your child is telling the truth, you may feel distrustful and frustrated. This can lead to problems in other areas of their life. For example, when they have to decide if they should tell someone what happened or lie to protect themselves from getting into trouble. Lying can also make it difficult for kids to trust others and form healthy relationships.

Lying is a natural part of childhood. In fact, lying is actually a means for kids to make sense of the world around them. Kids want to feel independent and in control, so lying can often be a way for them to do this.

What are the Alternatives to Lying?

Children don’t want to disappoint their parents, and they may tell a lie in order to please them. Children also might be trying to get out of trouble or looking for attention. Parents can help their kids stop lying by reminding them that each time they tell a lie, it will be more difficult for them to tell the truth in the future. It is also important for parents to set expectations with their children and stay calm when they are correcting their behaviour. A simple reminder like “please tell the truth” is often enough. Parents can also help their children by dealing with the situation right away, rather than waiting until later.

Preventing Your Child from Lying through Self-Awareness and Constant Parental Communication

Children often lie because they do not have the self-awareness needed to understand why their actions are inappropriate. Parents can help their kids develop this self-insight by being more aware of what their children are doing and understanding the reasoning behind it. This will make it easier for parents to provide appropriate consequences for when their child misbehaves. It is also important that parents talk to their children about why lying is wrong, so the child understands how lying affects themselves and others.

Keep conversations with your child open and honest. If you see your child doing something that may cause them to undo stress in the future, point out what they are doing wrong and how it could affect them in the future. Help your children to understand how they feel when they lie so they can develop more empathy for others.

What Should I Do If My Child Lies?

When parents catch their children lying, they should focus on correcting this behaviour, rather than getting upset. Parents should approach the situation calmly instead of getting angry or yelling at their child. By catching them in a lie you are doing something to restore trust and prevent future lies. You shouldn’t interrogate your child or ask them why they lied. This will only increase their anxiety and they won’t tell you the truth. You should make sure that you aren’t shutting them out or making them feel guilty. Instead, calmly tell him that lying is unacceptable and that he must promise to not lie again. Then ask him if there is anything he would like to share with you. Keep in mind that most children lie because they want to get something they want or avoid getting into trouble. Therefore, take the time to talk to your child about honesty and how important it is. If your child has a good sense of right and wrong, they will understand how lying is not acceptable. Also, be sure to remind them that you love them unconditionally and will always be there for them. Continue reading below for more about lying to parents.

What can I do if my child is constantly lying?

If your child is constantly lying or making up stories, he may have an underlying disorder. However, this is rare in children under the age of 10. For these conditions expert medical and psychiatric help may be needed.

Some possible reasons to consider are as follows:

  • Attention-seeking disorder – children with this problem have an exaggerated need for attention and will often lie to get it.
  • Conduct disorder – conduct disorder is defined as a pattern of behaviour that violates the rights of others or major age-appropriate rules or norms, such as lying, stealing, truancy, vandalism and physical cruelty and destruction of property.
  • Antisocial personality disorder – a person who has antisocial personality disorder exhibits a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others.
  • Psychosis – symptoms of psychosis include distorted thinking and perceptions, confusion, withdrawal from reality, difficulty with concentration and disorganised speech.
  • Schizophrenia – a person afflicted by schizophrenia may have delusions or hallucinations. He or she may also suffer from disorganised thought processes, speech and actions.
  • Malingering – a person who is faking an illness usually does so to avoid work or school assignments.
  • Factitious disorder – in factitious disorder the individual deliberately acts as if he or she has a physical or mental illness when he/she really is well. 
  • Somatization disorder – this disorder is characterised by recurrent complaints of vague and unverifiable physical symptoms. The individual seeks out many different physicians and often undergoes numerous unnecessary diagnostic tests and operations.
  • Conversion disorder – in conversion disorder the individual experiences some sort of physical problem that cannot be explained. Unconscious conflicts are thought to cause exaggerated, uncontrollable stress reactions.
  • Borderline personality disorder – individuals afflicted with this disorder have a pervasive instability of their interpersonal relationships. They are unable to control impulsive actions and behave in an irresponsible manner. They are also very sensitive to feeling hurt or rejected by others.

To Stop Lying, Start by Asking Questions and Showing Interest in the Answers

All children lie from time to time, but some children are more prone to lying than others. Parents can stop their children from lying by asking questions about the things that they say and showing interest in the answers. Parents can ask their children questions like “how come you said that?” or “do you know what I’m thinking?” If a child is being honest with his parents, they should be able to give an answer and maintain eye contact while doing so. If a child is lying, then they may avoid eye contact or shake their head when answering the question.


As a parent, you want to do everything you can to protect your child from harm. One way to do this is by teaching them the truth about lying. As you continue to teach your child about being honest and truthful, they will grow up knowing that it’s important to take responsibility for their actions, even if they lie sometimes. This will help them grow into responsible adults who will be able to learn from their mistakes and not repeat them later in life.

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