Psychologists Explain Why It’s A Good Sign When Kids Lie

Psychologists Explain Why It’s A Good Sign When Kids Lie

It’s Normal

It’s easy to freak out if you catch your child in a lie. In a world where the raising of a child is already tough enough, worrying about your child’s delinquency is frightening. However, there have been many studies in the field of child psychology, especially on the subject of lying. As it turns out, lying is completely normal! Kids normally begin to lie as early as 2 and a half to 3 years of age. Kang Lee, a development psychologist at the University of Toronto, has been studying lying in children for 20 years, says:

“That’s very, very normal.” (Via Slate)

Usually, it’s to cover up doing something wrong. But you have to admire the full depth of lying in children. Lying requires what is called “executive function.” It requires the ability to control working memory, inhibitory control and planning capabilities all at once. They’re ignoring reality, building one of their own, and occupying it with a different concept entirely. That’s pretty impressive for a three-year-old.

In fact, all things considered, lying is a sign of healthy development. Kids are always looking for new strategies, things to help them survive and move forward. So as a result, it’s only common for them to try and push their boundaries.


Many studies suggest that they are displaying both important cognitive skills and a lack of cognitive skills at the same time. Their brain is developing and interacting with the world, trying to see how everything works and exploring their limits. So, before you freak out and go at them for lying, just remember that it’s their brain developing. On that note, however, you, of course, need to discourage lying, and it’s quite possible to do just that, but you don’t need to fear for their future just yet.

“When kids lie, it’s not a sign that they’re on the road to delinquency—it’s a sign that they are developing important psychological skills.” (Via Slate)

The Study

There were tests done in 1989 and 2002, to try and understand just how often kids lie, and the frequency with age. They took a bunch of kids and put them in a room with a box, one at a time. They told the kids that inside the box was a toy that they weren’t allowed to look at. They then left the child in the room but didn’t tell them that the mirror was a one-way mirror. The whole point of the test was to see if the kid would be honest about sneaking a look.

After leaving the room, the observers would watch until the kid lifted the top to peek inside. Alternatively, they would wait 5 minutes. Afterward, they would return to the room and ask the child, “Did you look at the toy?” They received very interesting results indeed. There were two groups of kids, one at 3 years of age, the others between 4 and 7. About 54% of the kids who looked in the box lied about it – as if trying to cover some transgression. The older group, between 4 and 7, however, over 75% of the kids lied about it!


Part of Growing Up

Another broad theory that lying shows is called “theory of mind.” That theory recognizes that people have different thoughts or feelings than you. Your 7-year-old may know that he stole the last cookie, but you do not. Therefore, he may lie to you to try and cover it up because he knows that you aren’t 100% sure. It can be frustrating to try and get your kids to listen to you. But one big reason why they misbehave is that they struggle with inhibitory control. Essentially, they don’t mean to misbehave sometimes, it just happens. Which, of course, is one aspect of a growing mind.

As we get older, we understand more about the world and ourselves, and we learn to keep ourselves in line. One more thing to understand about lying in kids is their environments. A lot of people tell tiny lies about everything. When kids begin to recognize this, they realize it’s happening. While lying is wrong, it’s done by everyone around them. It becomes a conscious interpretation of the world around them.


So yes, you should still talk to your kids about lying, but don’t fear that you may ruin their lives. They’re just kids; it’s a part of growing up!

Speak with your kids on honesty and being truthful. Deal with lying separately from other transgressions, not just part of the same offense. Make sure they understand honesty and politeness. Things may get a bit complicated, but just teach your child that lying is wrong while keeping in mind that it is also normal!


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Published on July 22, 2021

20 Healthy and Tasty Family Meals Ideas to Try This Week

20 Healthy and Tasty Family Meals Ideas to Try This Week

It’s 5 p.m., and you’re exhausted. The kids are hungry, but no one knows what they want to eat for dinner. With very little energy, you force yourself into the kitchen and look through every cabinet, hoping for a spark of inspiration. Eventually, you toss a few ingredients together and hope for the best. It won’t win any prizes and falls short of what you consider “healthy,” but it fills everyone’s stomachs.

Feeding a family can be stressful, even tiresome. It’s hard to find the energy and creativity needed to cook healthy but simple family meals. It’s easy to fall into the “anything goes” mentality. When you’ve got a busy lifestyle, meals become more about survival and less about nutrition.

Here are 20 quick and healthy—but tasty—recipes followed by tips on making these family meals more nutritious. These recipes can help you have a healthy family meal on the table in an hour or less. Remember, swap ingredients out if someone in your family has dietary restrictions or if you avoid certain foods.

1. Mini Meatloaves With Green Beans and Potatoes

    These miniature meatloaves come together quickly and cook faster, too. You can have a family favorite on the table, paired with seasoned potatoes and fresh green beans, in just 40 minutes.

    Get the recipe here.

    2. One-Pan Chicken Parmesan Pasta

      This classic will taste like you spent hours cooking, but the preparation and clean-up couldn’t be quicker. One-pot cooking makes this dish practical, while fresh basil, parmesan, and garlic add a special touch.

      To try this recipe, go here.

      3. Sheet-Pan Chicken Fajitas

        Skip the restaurant and make fajitas at home. The ingredients go on one sheet pan, meaning you won’t spend all night cleaning. Zesty chicken, bell peppers, and warm tortillas can be on the table in 40 minutes. Add sour cream, salsa, guacamole, lettuce, diced tomato, and any other favorite toppings.

        Check out the recipe here.

        4. Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Peppers

          Lose the carbs but keep the cheesesteak flavors with this quick family meal. Kids will love the pepper “bowls,” and you’ll love giving them a meal full of veggies and protein to keep them healthy.


          Try it tonight. Get the recipe here.

          5. Chipotle Chicken Quinoa Burrito Bowl

            This veggie-packed meal adds an extra boost by using the superfood quinoa instead of rice. Flavorful yet simple, this meal makes an excellent packable lunch or dinner for your whole family.

            Find the recipe here.

            6. Spinach and Chicken Skillet With Lemon and Parmesan

              The complex flavors of lemon and parmesan come together nicely in this gourmet-like dish, but you don’t have to exert the effort or spend as much as a gourmet meal.

              Get the recipe for this dish here.

              7. Oven-Fried Fish and Chips

                Fish and chips can also sometimes be healthy as evident in this oven-fried version. You won’t miss the calories with this favorite family meal.

                You can find the recipe here.

                8. Pineapple-Teriyaki Chicken

                  Tangy pineapple and sweet teriyaki will have everyone coming back for seconds. Frozen vegetables make this simple family dish even easier to make and enjoy.

                  Find the recipe here.

                  9. Mozzarella, Basil, and Zucchini Frittata


                    This egg dish is usually served for breakfast, but a frittata can make a fantastic dinner, too. High in protein, packed with zucchini, and delicious, there’s no reason to wait until morning.

                    Try it tonight. Get the recipe here.

                    10. Chicken and Sweet Potato Grill Packets

                      Skip the pans and throw everything into foil with this fun family recipe. Kids will love loading ingredients into their pack, and you’ll love its versatility and simplicity.

                      The recipe for this meal can be found here.

                      11. Chicken and Spanish “Rice”

                        Cauliflower takes the place of rice in this low-carb family meal, but it’s so flavorful and filling, no one will miss it.

                        Find the recipe here.

                        12. Honey Chicken Stir Fry

                          This honey chicken stir fry is the healthier version of a restaurant favorite that can be served up quicker than you can order it.

                          Find the recipe here.

                          13. Chicken Skewers With Tzatziki

                            Greek chicken and tzatziki sauce will have you yearning for the Mediterranean, but you can make this recipe at home for your family to enjoy.

                            This easy recipe can be found here.


                            14. Healthy Walking Tacos

                              Traditional walking tacos are a party favorite, but they’re not usually healthy. However, this recipe keeps it fun while making it more nutritious.

                              Find out how to make it here.

                              15. Slow-Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

                                This classic comfort meal can be ready when you walk in the door. All you have to do is add noodles, and it’s ready to serve.

                                The recipe can be found here.

                                16. Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole

                                  This usually takes a little over an hour, but the preparation time is only 30 minutes. You’ll love how easy it is, and the cheesy rice is sure to please.

                                  Find the recipe here.

                                  17. Crockpot Rotisserie-Style Chicken

                                    Skip the checkout line and have a rotisserie-style chicken ready at home. A staple in many quick meals, you might find this family meal recipe among your most-used.

                                    Get the recipe for this flavorful chicken here.

                                    18. Santa Monica Street Tacos

                                      Named after a simple taco found on the streets of California, you’ll be surprised that something with only a few ingredients can be so flavorful. Your kids will surely enjoy them.


                                      Find the recipe here.

                                      19. Pizza Pasta Salad

                                        Enjoy the flavor of pizza without the hassle of making a crust. Use a fun pasta shape to make this even more appealing to your family, especially kids.

                                        Try it tonight. Get the recipe here.

                                        20. Slow-Cooker Lasagna Soup

                                          Everyone loves lasagna, but it can be time-consuming and messy to make. However, this soup version has the taste you want but with the ease of a crockpot.

                                          Get the recipe here.

                                          Bonus: 3 Simple Ways to Make Meals Healthier

                                          Eating healthy doesn’t have to take a lot of money, time, or thought. Any improvements are a big step in the right direction.

                                          Here are three easy ways you can make meals healthier for your family.

                                          1. Lose the Sugar

                                          Are you looking to improve your health? Cut processed sugars from your diet—the more, the better, and that includes artificial sweeteners.[1] Why? Studies show that sugar increases the risks for weight gain, heart disease, acne, type-2 diabetes, depression, cancer, fatty liver disease, cellular aging, and low energy levels.[2]

                                          2. Avoid Highly Processed Foods

                                          Many processed foods are fine to eat. Even fresh fruit and vegetables go through some processing to stay fresh longer. However, highly processed foods have added salt, sweeteners, saturated fats, preservatives, and artificial colors. These types of food have been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.[3]

                                          3. Replace Simple Carbs for Complex Carbs

                                          Lowering daily carbs can do wonders for your health. Studies show that low-carb diets lead to lower insulin levels, lower bad cholesterol levels, visceral fat loss, weight loss, reduced appetite, and can be therapeutic for many brain disorders.[4]

                                          When eating carbs, choose complex carbs over simple carbs. Simple carbs, such as white flour, rice, and degermed cornmeal, lack nutrients and spike blood sugar levels. Complex carbs, such as sweet potato, brown rice, and oats, are usually more nutritious and aren’t digested as quickly, giving more sustained energy and less of an insulin spike.[5]

                                          Enjoy Family Meals With Less Stress!

                                          Dinner can be enjoyable again now that you’re armed with simple and nutritious recipes for your family. These healthy and tasty family meal recipes can help you feel even better about what you serve. Best of all, you’ll have the extra time and energy you saved from cooking and spend more time with your family.


                                          More Healthy Eating Tips

                                          Featured photo credit: Jimmy Dean via


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