When Children Lie

By Ron Huxley, LMFT

A difficult problem for parents is when a child lies. Lying may mean your child has an active imagination, wants to please you, or is seeking attention. Parents can cope with a child who lies by following these simple parenting tools:

1. Provide opportunities for your child to express his 
imagination without lying.

2. Point out the differences between fact and fantasy.

3. Practice telling the truth yourself so that your child 
does not imitate you lying.

4. Don’t overreact to lying. Point out the need to tell the 
truth and allow your child to do so without feelings ashamed.

5. Don’t push for confessions. These usually lead to bigger lies and more punishment. 

6. Look for ways your child can get what they want without lying and reward him for not lying.