Does Your Kid Lie All the Time? When to Worry

Kids lie every now and then. While white lies are easy to ignore, children can quickly make a habit of lying.

If your child lies about everything, it’s safe to say there’s something more going on. Getting to the bottom of this behavior now is the only way to put an end to it.

Why Children Lie

All children lie at some point. Though parents believe children often lie as a way to get something they want, this isn’t always true. Oftentimes, the motivation behind a child lying is because they lack confidence.

A lack of confidence can result in lying as children try to make themselves seem more interesting or special. Likewise, lying shifts the focus off of the child. If a child is experiencing depression or anxiety, they may lie so the spotlight isn’t on them.

Understanding why your child is lying starts with understanding the scenario. Determine what your child’s motivator is for lying so you can create a plan to fix it.

What to Do If Your Child is Lying All the Time

While some children don’t understand the power that lies hold, others know exactly what they’re doing. As children age, their ability to tell believable lies improves. While younger children tend to lie as a way to gain something, older kids are able to tell the distinction between the types of lies. Older kids tend to lie to their parents about matters regarding their personal lives.

If your child is lying all the time, this is cause for concern. Parents should know that along with chronic lying, their child may be at risk for alarming behavior like stealing.

How Do I Stop My Kid From Lying?

Though lying is relatively normal, parents need to take action against chronic lying. Parents should focus on prioritizing open dialogue and honest communication at home. When kids feel safe sharing their thoughts and feelings, they’re less likely to feel ashamed about being honest.

Parents should do their best to model honesty with emotion coaching. Emotion coaching helps children understand when lies are the most harmful. In these exercises, children should feel proud when telling the truth as you encourage them to keep doing it.

Is It Really a Lie?

While some children intentionally lie, others may tell half-truths. Children that are still very young tend to mix imagination and real life. Likewise, their memories may not be as accurate. For this reason, a story that seems false may really just be something from their imagination.

As you take the time to analyze your child’s lies, always watch out for anything serious. For example, adults and parents should always believe children’s stories of abuse. Take immediate action to address this type of situation while making sure your child is safe.

ADHD and Lying

If your child lies frequently, they may be at-risk for ADHD. Experts warn that children with ADHD tend to lie more than others.

If your child has ADHD, they likely aren’t lying to defy their parents and they may not even know they’re lying. Children with ADHD tend to be compulsive in their behavior. If your child has ADHD they may not be far from compulsive lying.

Parents should be careful in responding to their children when they find they’re lying. Typically, this type of lying stems from a child struggling to cope with ADHD related challenges. When it comes to ADHD, children may feel uncomfortable that they struggle with certain tasks. Thus, instead of telling the truth, they lie to hide their challenges.

Managing executive functions or skills like time management and organization can be challenging for anyone with ADHD. Parents can fight this by avoiding situations where lying is an option. Likewise, removing the shame from lying will help your child to be more vulnerable with their ADHD-related struggles.

Lying is something that most kids grow out of. Teaching your child the importance of honesty and authentic communication goes a long way. As they continue to grow up, they’ll understand how powerful the truth is.

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