When Your Child Tells Lies

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Reading through some books I found that more children start telling lies from the age of four. At this stage it is mostly about making up stories and graduates from there. So, when your child tells lies, do know that it is a common thing but you as the parent have to try and nip it in the bud.


There are a few reasons children tell lies and understanding them will better aid in handling it.

Needing Attention: Many children tell lies to get the attention of the parents. You find them coming up with really tall tales. Parents should really be in tune with their kids to help avoid certain things.

To be their own person: Sometimes, children lie to be separate from their parents. If the parents for instance, restrict them from dressing in a particular way, the child will do it out of the house and lie to the parents.

To keep from hurting a loved one: Sometimes lying could simply be that your child does not want you to feel bad or disappointed with them. They know what they did was wrong and they regret doing it.

Not to get into trouble. This is the most common reason. Lies are told to keep themselves out of trouble.

Handling it!

These are suggestions to help us tackle this habit in our kids. We must understand the importance of raising honest children today; they are the leaders of tomorrow.

Prepare for it

As a parent, you need to think ahead. If our/my child starts lying how do I go about handling it? You should have a strategy to tackle that vice of lying. Some even go on to plan their reactions and the punishment that fits the behaviour.

Let your children understand that lying does not work

The Boy who cried wolf is a good story to help your child understand. Point out, that once you always tell lies people would not believe you even when you are telling the truth.

 Understand the “why”

Once you identify the reason your child is telling lies you are on your way to helping. Some kids may lie about their test scores because they have a lot of pressure at home on being the “best”. It then falls to you as parents to encourage your kids in all they do and take away that reason for lying.

Set repercussions for lying

Let your kids know that once they tell fibs, that they will have consequences for telling lies and what they did wrong that they are lying about. Rules and boundaries must be set.

Be the example of truth

You cannot enforce telling the truth on your children when you tell lies yourself. Be their role model in this area as well as others.

Reward honesty

When your child does something wrong and tells you the truth please let them know you are proud that they didn’t lie, and since they did not lie, instead of one week of being grounded, it would just be four days.

Encourage your children and help them be the honest people you want them to be.



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Ije Woko

Ijeamaka Woko is a minister with a love for writing and a passion for young people and the family as a whole. She is married and has 3 boys. A great love for words and reading are a strong driving force for her at this time.

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