‘My children tell lies all the time, what’s the best way to react or encourage them to tell the truth?’

People lie all the time, so it’s not surprising that children lie too. Behavioural and observational research has shown, consistently, that children start telling lies in their early pre-school years and that the lies increase in sophistication and frequency through childhood. One study found that rates of lie-telling peak in late childhood or early adolescence (with three to four lies a day being told) and then decrease over the course of adulthood to average at one to two lies per day.

ne of the theories put forward to explain this rise in lie-telling is that teenagers are trying to forge closer relationships with their friends and so tend to pull away from their parents. As they attempt to gain autonomy in their lives, they may lie more about those issues they feel are outside of their parents’ jurisdiction and more within the realm of what they and their friends can sort out.

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