Experts say that a lie is a deliberate act or word made up to deceive people. However, he adds that there is no cause for concern in the child’s lying behavior until the age of 5-6. Since the sense of reality in children is not fully developed, it is quite wrong to consider “lying” as a behavior disorder in this period. Children may lie, sometimes influenced by their rich imaginations, sometimes for the purpose of defending themselves, and sometimes because they do not have the cognitive maturity to evaluate the truth as well as adults. However, it should be taken seriously, as it reveals some underlying causes of lying behavior. Rather than being upset or shocked, families faced with lies should see this as an opportunity to communicate more closely with the child and educate him or her about the consequences of lying. “When families realize that the child is lying, they feel many emotions together,” said Dr. Sedat Üründül Kindergarten Psychological Counseling and Guidance Specialists continue their words by giving examples: “Is it necessary to ignore or face it, will lying remain a personality trait in children? The first thing to do in such a situation is to remain calm. Since children may resort to “lie” for various reasons, parents must first determine why their children are not telling the truth.
“There can be many reasons why children lie”
Experts state that children can lie to their families for many different reasons and list these reasons as follows;
-She may want to be accepted,
-She may be afraid of upsetting you,
– May be afraid of making mistakes
-May be expressing a longing,
– May want to get rid of sanctions, – May want to be appreciated,
-She may be afraid of being criticized…
What kind of lies do children resort to?
Imaginary Lies: Children between the ages of 3-6 may not be able to evaluate and accurately convey the truth like adults. For this reason, he can tell the truth by combining it with his dreams. An example of this is when a 3-year-old boy goes home and says to his mother, “My teacher is so strong that he can uproot the trees in the garden”. Fake Lies: In some cases, children may have learned to “lie” from adults. The child who witnesses adult lying may normalize the “lying”. For example, an adult who is invited to a place he does not want to go by phone says “I am very sick, I will not be able to come” next to his child. Hearing this, the child may think that lying is normal and generalize it to his whole life. For this reason, adults should be very careful when talking in front of children. Investigative Lies: Here the child explores what it is like to lie and probes the boundaries. These types of lies are normal for a child’s development. Defensive Lies: Another common type of lie in children is defensive lies that aim to hide wrongdoing. The child resorts to lying because he knows he has done something untrue and fears sanctions if it is revealed. These kinds of lies are often told by children who are criticized, who get harsh reactions in the face of their mistakes, who are sanctioned, and who are forced to perfection. Exalted Lies: This indicates that the child wants to be more respected.
From time to time, children may also resort to lying to gain the admiration or attention of people they admire or love very much. For example, a child who wants to gain the teacher’s appreciation may show that he has done something he did not do. We should set an example for children and value honesty. Adults should set an example for their children with their behavior. No matter what age children are, it is necessary to tell the truth in an age-appropriate language. Every lie told will both shake their trust in adults and set a negative example for them in this regard. When the child confesses a mistake or misbehavior, it is necessary to respect the honesty he has shown and not to impose sanctions on him for his mistake. If the child is sanctioned for a behavior he confessed, he will not choose to share the situation with his family next time. In such a situation, it is necessary to commend him for his honesty and also to state that his behavior is not approved. Ignoring is not an appropriate method to extinguish this behavior. It is absolutely necessary to confront him about the lie told by the child. We should not overreact and avoid pressure The child who is afraid of overreactions to everyday events may lie. For this reason, the reactions shown should be measured. It is important to express reactions to children’s misbehaviors in an appropriate language. Otherwise, the child may lie to hide his next misbehavior. Knowing that the child can talk to his/her parents about his/her wishes, troubles, worries and concerns will keep him/her away from the “lying” behavior.