Child Development Tips For Parents

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Why Kids Lie Age by Age

Most of us love kids and at times their mischievous behaviours as well. If I talk about from the perspective of an individual we love such mischievous behaviour, however from a parent point of view, parents to get embarrass or at time and outburst with anger to handle such behaviour of their child. Do that really make kids understand their mistake and not to repeat it? Well in this article we would cover one of such behaviour which makes parents more worried about their kids future is “LYING”. Now if we talk about lying it simply one of the worst attributes of a person, however have we ever analysed why kids lie age by age? At such an early age from where they learn to lie? And at what circumstances they lie?

We have made the parenting easy to understand why kids lie age by age. Knowing why kids lie at each stage as they grow will help you as a parent to handle your child and groom him accordingly towards to the truthfulness.

First let us understand why a child lies?

Children might lie at different stages of life:

To seek attention: in today's generation children need regular attention, either from their parents, other kids, or relatives.

To make their own made-up stories more interesting.

Out of fear: probably kids may know your reaction towards a situation which they have already done before and faced the punishment or so for the same.

To cover-up something which may land them up into trouble.

To get something which they desperately want.

Above are some of the major reasons why kids lie at different stages. Now let us come to the next step to understand when kids do lie.

Basically it is not something which is taught to kids, they develop it be themselves as they grow and under the kind of circumstances they grow. As early as by the age of three kids starts lying, this is the time when a kid realizes that parents cannot read his or her mind.

At the age when they start their schooling, they might lie more often and can be better at lying.

Children lie more at 4-6 years of age, here the kids match up their facial expression and voice tone with their lies and if you ask them to explain more they will usually own-up. By the age of 8 years children lie successfully.

Now let us move further and see at different stages of the childhood what kind of lies do kids come up with, so to make parents understand kids' mind set and to deal accordingly. Please keep in mind while you hear such lies from your kids do not overreact or outburst with anger as they are just kids and they need your support to come out with such behaviour.

Tiny Tots:

An age where the kids learn from crawling to walk and to talk. At this age (the age of 2-3 years) too kids lie however such lie is a white lie. A mother who shared her experience with us says, her kid who is 2.6 years old pulls the puppy's tail and says an imaginary name or a cartoon character's name for doing that. For this the reaction of parents may be at times like “how can he lie and it's a bad habit and so on”, however this is very common in children of their age, it is suggested that do not over react to it rather than saying why did you do that, just tell them “even the puppy is like little baby, even he gets hurt”. At this age kids will tell simple lie and they do not even know that they are doing any wrong thing. A suggestion to every parent while dealing with a lie of a child at this stage, do not argue to get the child to confess that he or she has done because then for every accusation you may get lie from your child. It is always better to put your words differently and try to avoid the showdown.


At this age the world of imagination starts flourishing in kids, they mostly starts living in the imaginary world or starts actualising the characters of cartoons they usually watch. The world of fantasies gets really for them; they start living in those unreal moments. At times we hear from parents that they get surprised to see their child is making his/her own stories which are not part of their real world. From this imagination as well kids lie, though these lies are not lies, it is important for parents to make things in perspective of a child if the imagination of the child troubles you. There should nothing be worried about by parents about such fantasies, it's just because most of the children now a days prone to televisions, tablets and various other gadgets which develops the imagination of unreal world in the kids. It is just that we need to make our children towards more of real time activities and let them play outside, so to gradually disconnect them from imaginary world of princess and action heroes.

School Kids:

Riya and her elder brother Vinit had a fight and during this fight one of the sibling, broke the precious and expensive show case. Their mother yelled and shouted at them but no one owned up, then their Mother decided to not let them go for play until they disclose the name. So finally Vinit owned-up though he was not at fault, after his mother more interrogation, Vinit had to accept that he didn't do anything. After asking by his mother why he lied he said so that “you can let us play”. Then out of guilt Riya outburst in cry and owned her mistake.

Vinit's attempt to take up the charge shows the development of his taking responsibility with a white lie and Riya's lie which is usually occasionally not-so-white lie. Kids do so for very understandable and even forgivable reasons – for example they may be afraid of disappointing their parents or the punishment or even because they are pressed beyond their capabilities. (If say a kid is not good with maths, he will try to hide the homework for that day) You come to know about his lie, rather than snatching his privilege of watching T.V or playing and sending him to his room, it's better to understand his behaviour towards such situation, why is that he lie and his reasons to do so and consider the same rather than over looking to his reasons.


At this age (9-12 years old) where most kids develop the understanding between truth and falsehood, however they are inexperienced about the grey areas in between. Do not be surprised if your child do not disclose everything with you, it is not that your child in the wrong path or dishonest to you, it just mean that they are becoming mature enough. Usually kids who share everything with their parent by the age of 13 or 14 years are actually not growing.

An occasional lie for petty things is not unusual at this age, here parents can show or express their displeasure. However if they lie persistently then they need proper guidance for the same, at this point parents plays a very important role, they may consult a specialist for the same, because the reason can be his inability to face the challenges or problems or he may be under stress and it can possible that the kids think that they can fool anyone around with their lies and can be habitual liar.

The best to way to tackle such problem would be, to set an example for your kids and let them know the consequences of lie regularly and making it a habit. This process may take some time to get into the kids habit, so be patient enough and the time would when they would actually grow as a mature and honest human being.

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