Why Children Lie


Lying is a perfectly normal part of a child’s developmental process. However, chronic lying may be a cry for help.

Whether it’s claiming that her dolls talk to her or denying that he hit his baby brother, children say things that are endearing, infuriating–and completely untrue. Lying is a perfectly normal part of the developmental process, as children learn to distinguish fantasy from reality and ultimately, develop a conscience. “Children lie for the same reasons as adults — to get what they want and avoid being punished,” says George Scarlett, professor of Child Development at Tufts University in Medford, Mass.


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