Why Do Children Start Lying?

There are a lot of ways in which morality can be debated: biological, psychological, cultural, educational, etc. Probably the most important among these are those that shed light on the morality level at young ages, but also the ones that study its perspective culturally speaking.

Why Do Children Start Lying

“It`s good” or “it`s bad,” “it`s allowed” or “it`s not allowed” are phrases that we all heard during childhood and that we continue to repeat to our children even when they have passed the threshold of the age when they are able to take the decisions alone. But are we saying these when they can be understood or in the proper way? Do we have the right to affirm what is moral or not in the universe of another person, as our child is?

What Is Morality?

Morality is defined by the virtue of what is moral: nature, character, the value of a fact, the conduct of a person from a moral point of view, behavior, conduct, morals in accordance with moral principles.

So, we can notice that morality is more than a social norm, a set of rules established by the collective in where we live. That`s why, morality may be different from one location to another, one country to another or one area to another. The differences can also be between generations. An example of this can be the bigama marriage of the Arab populations. While for Europeans this is immoral, for those living in Arab countries, this is perfectly normal.

Scientifically speaking, we can define as being normal any custom, rule, ideology that is accepted and followed by most people that live in a group, community, country or area.

From a psychological point of view, we define morality as the individual`s ability to restore a balance between his inner desires – like egocentrism – and the demands of the social environment where he lives. In one word, “to be moral” or not is more of a question of internal matter than one that can be influenced by others.

Process of Moral Development

Freud has been the one studying for the first time the process of moral development. He discovered that a child will end this development around 5 – 6 years old. Still, Freud has been contradicted by some studies and even authors from his time, who supported the idea that we can start talking about moral development in children when they start reaching 6 years. Contemporary psychologists have solved this particular dilemma, proving that moral development starts from infancy and continues to adulthood. – Similar info!

These psychologists claim that morality is taught through the reward systems that the child and, respectively the adult receive, through their lives. To be more clear, let`s use an example: the child is argued when he hits one of his friends when playing and, that`s why, he`ll learn in the future that isn`t a proper thing to do.

Still, we should take into account the possibility of understanding a norm – morality – is closely correlated with the child`s cognitive development. You cannot understand an idea, if you don`t have a set of instruments to help you understand it. For instance, a 4-year child won`t be able to understand notions like “altruism,” “equality,” “collegiality,” although it`s possible for him to intuit them.

Why Do Children Start Lying?

It`s being said that honesty, as well as lack of honesty, is learned at home. We all know by now that even though we think it`s good to say the truth, still, in certain circumstances we don`t do it. Psychologists have proved that from early age, children are lying without learning this from someone in particular. In most cases, the lies of small children are due to the fact that at these ages the distinction between reality and fantasy is fluid. While they grow, children understand the difference between truth and lie, and they are lie from various reasons.

So, in the life of every child appears this moment when he starts inventing all sorts of stuff, trying to “modify” reality. There`s no tragedy, because each of us is born with a certain creative potential. However, as parent you need to learn how to delineate properly the boundary between fantasy and lie.

Children with a big imagination invent an imaginary world in which they want to live. This type of behavior isn`t pathological! Psychologists say that this isn`t dangerous for the child, and consider it to be a behavior that favors enrichment of his personal life. Through fantasy, the little ones try to explain all sorts of phenomena that unfold around them and that they don`t understand, and they try to find solutions to solve these issues. However, sometimes the solutions found by them taken on forms that aren`t related to reality – these are lies. Sure, during the process of development, we all went through this stage. Psychologists even consider the period of lies a natural moment in the child`s development process, whom until a certain age, confuses reality with fiction. At 3 or 4 years old, the boundary between fantasy and reality is very thin. That`s why, most children found at this age are much more prone to deform reality.

There are lots of reasons that determine a child to lie. When they are still very small, children lie because they have a rich imagination, and the truth may seem boring to them. Therefore, they create a world that is much more beautiful, just as they wanted. Also, when they are small, children lie to integrate in certain groups. It`s known that sometimes is rather difficult for children to accept other children in their circle of friends and they do this only if they like the newcomers and have certain qualities. So, they lie regarding many things, only to impress others. – Visit this page!

Lots of times, children are afraid by the consequences that they may face. They choose to lie only to get rid of the punishment. And, ultimately, the little ones lie to avoid making things that they don`t want to do. The most common lie regarding this is bellyache (their belly hurts at eating time or when they need to go to the kindergarten, etc).

How to Making your Child to Stop Lying?

When the child is very young, you shouldn`t hurry to punish him! The best thing you can do is talk to him nicely. If you ask him lots of questions, the little one might get confused and have the tendency to continue to lie, hiding the truth. Prove him through arguments that a “lie has short legs” and that the truth will always come out. The reprimands you bring to him need to be done within the family and no in public, because shame isn`t a good solution to solve any kind of issues. If you argue with him in front of other people and make him feel bad, you`ll make him lose his self-confidence.

The power of example functions very well when it comes to children. Even when talking about lies, children learn by imitation from parents. If you want to making stop lying, you need to be a good example for him. You cannot forbid your child to do some things, as long as you are doing them. That`s why, it`s good to always be honest and correct with him and respect your promises. This way, the child will learn to appreciate truth and honesty. Good examples can even be found in fairy tales and stories, and even some cartoons with educational character (more info!). Read such stories to him and you`ll soon realize a change in his behavior. Also, parents should avoid lying themselves in front of their child.

In general, lies aren`t a big reason of concern when it comes to children because it`s part of their development process and typical behavior. Moreover, most children who lie will grow up and stop lying. All adults have lied when they were children. The real reasons of concern appear when this behavior doesn`t change, when the child lies constantly, or when he lies about very serious reasons involving his life. In this case, lies aren`t innocent anymore and you may need the help of a professional.

Image courtesy of inspiringwomen.co.za

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