Psychology of Lying: Why Do Children Tell Lies?

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Is telling lies a crime? 
What is the psychology of lying? 
Why do children lie? 

Restrictions and constantly rising demands laid on children make them feel that they can Never meet adult expectations; and so they lie.

Lying is a cognitive skill; a tool we all use to secure personal social status and to empower our social self-esteem.

Lying is the way of life:
We all often manipulate the truth to maintain social harmony. Like rest of the cognitive development, children learn to lie from us.

Being immature in the art, they do not know when and what to lie about. And when they do, they get easily caught; we express our distrust and make them feel guilty. 


Child psychology of lying

Small lies told by children often infuriate teachers, while parents wonder why my child tells lies even to me.

Children usually begin to tell lies during their middle childhood development, somewhere between 7 and 9 years of age as an important facet of psychosocial development. 

Children during this phase of childhood development have flighty imagination. They analyze their abstract thoughts and try to put them into practice in the real world. Therefore they fabricate stories and unfortunately get punished for it.

While parents and teachers get exasperated, children fail to understand the reason for it: “From Mickey Mouse to Superman’s achievements are acknowledged; Harry Potter stories win universal admiration, but why mine is a cause of so much distress“, they wonder.

Hesitation in children's speech is often perceived as hiding the truth:
Children are unable to express their thoughts in words effectively; partly because of immature language development along with natural ambivalence during teenage development, and partly because of the fear. 

Fear instigates telling lies

Lying is children's tool to preserve their self esteem among those who matter to them. And, parents and teachers do matter to them.

Children fear annoying parents and teachers, both out of love for them and the consequences that follow; punishment and withdrawal of favors. But we scare and punish them for tiny faults. The fear generated instigates lies and ignor'able childhood prank gets compounded by lies told. 

Rules - regulations enforced cause hindrance in children's desired activities:
Creativity instinct along with the natural desire to explore the environment at this stage of proficiency in developmental milestones and brain development prompts them to venture into the forbidden domains. They break the rules and use their abstract thoughts to fabricate an acceptable story. 

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Children who tell lies are usually well accomplished

Most children who tell lies are well aware that they have disregarded what was expected out of them, and they do not see it as a mistake done.

They are intelligent and capable, and know that they are so. But they feel that the adults in their environment do not recognize their capabilities. When discovered lying and punished for it, their conception is perpetuated. 

Psychology of lying demands delicate dealings with children

Psychology of lying trips towards behavior disorders under punitive parenting:
Strict discipline and hostile confrontations at home, at school, or both trips children into habitual and/or compulsive lying. A tinge of defiance sets in. They interpret punishment as for being found out rather for telling lies. They sharpen their intelligence and creativity to be better at it next time. 

They begin defying authority of all kinds: 
And with it come various forms of unacceptable social behavior;  moodiness, impulsiveness, fading school attendance and declining scholastic achievements.

These children can even present with violent temper tantrums and aggressive behavior disorder. 

To prove their defiance towards authority, some of them even land up into unlawful activities thereby endangering their and others lives, such as rash driving, stealing, cheating and so on: Psychology of lying is very intricate!

Children who tell lies need to be dealt with great tact and wisdom: Parents need to guard children against the consequences of lying is fully justified, but children perceive it as authority used.  

So, should children who tell lies be punished?

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