Reasons why kids lie

Unfortunately people lie, and this includes children. The reason for telling untruths can vary; however, for parents it can be frustrating. Catching your child telling a lie, and being on the receiving end can be disheartening. Parents’ don’t expect this from their children. It can cause anguish, pain, upset and annoyance. Knowing that your child is lying can bring great frustration and cause turmoil. Getting to the bottom of why kids lie and learning how to raise honest children is important.

Reasons why kids lie:

Learning from others

Is everyone in the family honest? Even the smallest white lie sets a bad precedence. Children are very intelligent and pick up on these things easily. What children learn and absorb from others can be very influential. Keep a check on the rest of the family to ensure that honesty is prevalent. Children learn by example, so be sure to set the right example. You cannot expect your child to be honest if others around him or her are not. Make it a family rule to be honest.


Sometimes if a child has done wrong he or she may fear telling the truth, as the repercussions may cause anxiety. If in the past your child has come to you, or witnessed someone else tell you something you didn’t want to hear and your response was unsavory, your child is going to be weary. If your child believes he or she will be in trouble for telling you something, this can lead him or her to tell you a tale. This is a sad fact; however, it can be changed. Let your child know and understand that he or she must be honest and there is nothing to fear.


Believe it or not, children like to get things right. Knowing that they didn’t can lead them to feel shameful, which can result in fabrications. Preventing feelings of shame can be the very reason why a child may bend the truth. Teach your child that not only do they face feeling shameful, but they will also have to deal with guilt. This can only make matters worse for the child. Let your child know that telling the truth may be uncomfortable, but it helps to resolve things sooner. Honesty and integrity should always be promoted.

Children need to learn that honesty always pays off, no matter how difficult it is to own up to something or answer a question. If your child is fearful of the consequences he or she may lie to try and save him/herself. However, teach your child that lying is wrong and the truth always comes out in the end. Additionally, teach him or her that it is better to tell the truth and face up to whatever it is. Let your child feel comfortable with telling you the truth and know that your reaction is going to be calm. This teaches your child that it is better to be honest than to tell a lie. Give your child the confidence to be honest, and your relationship will be a better one for it.