Why kids Lie? Should we worry?  What can we (as parents) do?

Parents, why do kids lie? You’ve  heard the stories…fibs……fish tales…..big lies…white lies….whatever you call them.  It is not unlikely that during the course of childhood….your kids will lie!  Sometimes it happens out of the blue…sometimes it’s pretty intense….BUT the question is—why???

Well, the function of most behaviors include–trying to avoid, trying to gain something or simply due to sensory pleasure.  Most parents think that children lie to avoid a consequence or to get something they really want…….these are definitely the common motivations of telling a lie…… but there are other less obvious reasons why kids might not be telling the truth.

Some research suggests that children may lie just because it’s a novel idea and they are just “trying it out”…..they are looking to see what might happen when they lie?……or what will it do for them?  Or even….what will they get from it?  

Other times…. lying might be just an effort to boost self confidence or make them feel powerful….talented or just in an effort to gain attention from someone or just make them feel special in the eyes of someone…..

Conversely, sometimes lying is done in an effort to deflect….move the attention away from themselves.  Some children who suffer from anxiety and/or depression might even lie about their symptoms to get the spotlight off of them.

On the other hand, sometimes lying is just and “impulsive”….many times children diagnosed with ADHD lie as part of their impulsivity (one of the hallmark symptoms of ADHD).

Finally, sometimes kids just lie (like adults) to spare feelings….in this case the little lies and understanding when and if to do this falls under the area of understanding “social skills”……but whatever the case…….most lying is benign.

However, if you feel you sense that there is something more going on and you need support…..call Suzanne at 973-658-7767…..We’re here to help!!