Why preschoolers (2-6 years) lie - 8 reasons

Parentree-editors 2009-08-31 10:40:54

Your little preschooler is  just starting to learn language and suddenly you catch him or her lying about small things. Why do they do it?

1. Its not a lie. Preschoolers may not know the difference between right and wrong

It is too early at this age for children to realize what is right and what is wrong. As they slowly reach 4 to 6 years of age, they start to develop an understanding of it, but not completely.

2. It is a game - they like your reaction

If you react in a certain way - startled, surprised etc., - your child will sense it. They will keep doing the same thing because they like to see that reaction from you.

3. A vivid imagination which they do not hesitate to use

Lying is a normal part of child development. Preschoolers have very active imaginations. They imagine something or someone having done something or not. In many ways, a little lying is a positive sign of child development.

4. Short attention span

Preschoolers have a short attention span. They just move from one interesting thing to another. They may not remember what happened and may just toss out the first reply that comes to their mind. And that maybe construed by others as a lie.

5. They don't understand the background of the question

If your question is phrased in a way that it requires only a yes or no answer, half the time you will get the wrong answer, which you think is a lie. Your child on the other hand, would not have understood why you are asking the question or may not be paying attention. Thus they randomly picked yes or no.

6. Fear of the consequences

If you have reacted negatively to mistakes before, they may be afraid of your reaction. They may lie and deny having committed a mistake, to avoid seeing the same negative reaction from you.

7. To impress others - friend, family, parents etc.,

Preschoolers are sensitive to praise and attention. They may concoct some tall tales to get attention and praise.

8. They are following the examples of those around them

If children see their siblings or friends or family lying around them and getting away with it, they may think it is acceptable to lie.


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