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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.

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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!

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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.

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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 April 9, 2021

50 Single Mom Quotes On Staying Strong And Loving

50 Single Mom Quotes On Staying Strong And Loving

Being a mom is not easy. Being a single mom is even more challenging. Having children means you are on the job 24/7. Even while you are sleeping, you are still ready to wake at the slightest peep because that is what moms do.

Moms, especially single moms, need more people cheering them on. Your love and care matter to your kids. You are their superhero. I think single moms are superheroes, too.

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The quotes below are words of encouragement for all of the single moms out there. Keep up the great work! Your hard work will pay off. Someday, they will be grown up and living on their own. Your job will never truly be done as a mom, but you can pat yourself on the back today and every day for doing mom duty day in and day out.

Here are 50 single mom quotes to encourage all the single moms out there.

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  1. “Being raised by a single mother, I learned to appreciate and value independent women.”—Kenny Conley
  2. “As a single mum you’ll discover inner strengths and capabilities you never knew you had.”—Emma-Louise Smith
  3. “One thing I know for sure – this motherhood thing is not for sissies.”—Jennifer Nettles
  4. “Mothers and their children are in a category all their own. There’s no bond so strong in the entire world. No love so instantaneous and forgiving.”—Gail Tsukiyama
  5. “And one day she discovered that she was fierce and strong, and full of fire and that not even she could hold herself back because her passion burned brighter than her fears.”—Mark Anthony
  6. “She never quite leaves her children at home, even when she doesn’t take them along.”—Margaret Culkin Banning
  7. “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.”—Alice Walker
  8. “Everyone has inside of her a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be, how much you can love, what you can accomplish, and what your potential is.”—Anne Frank
  9. “Doubt is a killer. You just have to know who you are and what you stand for.”—Jennifer Lopez
  10. “You are more powerful than you know; you are beautiful just as you are.”—Melissa Etheridge
  11. “Motherhood is the greatest thing and the hardest thing.”—Ricki Lake
  12. “You don’t take a class; you’re thrown into motherhood and learn from experience.”—Jennie Finch
  13. “If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.”—Oprah Winfrey
  14. “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”—Charlotte Brontë
  15. “Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”—Nora Ephron
  16. “When a woman becomes her own best friend life is easier.”—Diane Von Furstenberg
  17. “If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.”—Margaret Thatcher
  18. “Women have discovered that they cannot rely on men’s chivalry to give them justice.”—Helen Keller
  19. “Successful mothers are not the ones that have never struggled. They are the ones that never give up, despite the struggles.”—Sharon Jaynes
  20. “Success, they taught me, is built on the foundation of courage, hard work, and individual responsibility. Despite what some would have us believe, success is not built on resentment and fears.”—Susana Martinez
  21. “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”—Maya Angelou
  22. “The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”—Ayn Rand
  23. “God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.”—Rudyard Kipling
  24. “The women whom I love and admire for their strength and grace did not get that way because stuff worked out. They got that way because stuff went wrong, and they handled it. They handled it in a thousand different ways on a thousand different days, but they handled it. Those women are my superheroes.”—Elizabeth Gilbert
  25. “There will be so many times you feel like you failed. But in the eyes, ears, and mind of your child, you are a SUPER MOM.”—Stephanie Precourt
  26. “Motherhood is the ultimate call to sacrifice.”—Wangechi Mutu
  27. “We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.”—Maya Angelou
  28. “A mother’s arms are more comforting than anyone else’s.”—Princess Diana
  29. “There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.”—Jill Churchill
  30. “There’s no doubt that motherhood is the best thing in my life. It’s all that really matters.”—Courtney Cox
  31. “I realized when you look at your mother, you are looking at the purest love you will ever know.”—Mitch Albom
  32. “I have found being a mother has made me emotionally raw in many situations. Your heart is beating outside your body when you have a baby.”—Kate Beckinsale
  33. “Single moms, you are a doctor, a teacher, a nurse, a maid, a cook, a referee, a heroine, a provider, a defender, a protector, a true Superwoman. Wear your cape proudly.”—Mandy Hale
  34. “I’m not really single. I mean, I am, but I have a son. Being a single mother is different from being a single woman.”—Kate Hudson
  35. “Being a single parent is twice the work, twice the stress, and twice the tears but also twice the hugs, twice the love, and twice the pride.”—Unknown
  36. “For me, motherhood is learning about the strengths I didn’t know I had, and dealing with the fears I didn’t know existed.”—Halle Berry
  37. “A single mom tries when things are hard. She never gives up. She believes in her family, even when things are tough. She knows that above all things… a mother’s love is more than enough.”—Denice Williams
  38. “You do the best you can. Some days you feel really good about yourself and some days you don’t.”—Katie Holmes
  39. “I would say to any single parent currently feeling the weight of stereotype or stigmatization that I am prouder of my years as a single mother than of any other part of my life.”JK Rowling
  40. “Just because I am a single mother doesn’t mean I cannot be a success.”—Yvonne Kaloki
  41. “I didn’t plan on being a single mom, but you have to deal with the cards you are dealt the best way you can.”—Tichina Arnold
  42. “Nothing you do for children is ever wasted.”—Garrison Keillor
  43. “A single mom tries when things are hard. She never gives up. She believes in her family, even when things are tough. She knows that above all things, a mother’s love is more than enough.”—Deniece Williams
  44. “Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials.”—Meryl Streep
  45. “Having kids—the responsibility of rearing good, kind, ethical, responsible human beings—is the biggest job anyone can embark on.”—Maria Shriver
  46. “Mother is a verb. It’s something you do. Not just who you are.”—Cheryl Lacey Donovan
  47. “A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dates all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path.”—Agatha Christie
  48. “A mother’s arms are more comforting than anyone else’s.”—Princess Diana
  49. “The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.”—W.R. Wallace
  50. “Being a mother is the greatest blessing and the hardest challenge in all of life.”—Dr. Magdalena Battles

Final Thoughts

Single moms are remarkable women. They are to be respected and honored for all that they do. If you know a single mom, then share this article with them. Tell them “you are doing a great job as a single mom.” They need our encouragement and support.

They may be parenting alone, but it is good to let them know that there are people in their life who care for them. We can all be there for the single moms out there. Even if it is just to say, “keep up the great work, you are an amazing woman!”

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If you are a single mom, keep up the good work! You are amazing, and your kids are lucky to have you!

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Featured photo credit: Alexander Dummer via unsplash.com

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