When Did Your Child Start Telling "Lies"

Updated on January 30, 2013
B.B. asks from Bedminster, NJ
5 answers

Hi Moms,

My son will be 5 in 2 months and I have noticed recently that he is telling small lies. He would in the past tell me silly things like what happend to his imaginary friend but of course he would readily admit they were just for fun. But lately, he will tell me he put on lip balm (which I wish he would, but he dislikes) when he didn't (we talked about it and he told me he wanted me to be happy and proud of him), hiding a dvd that he didn't want to return to the library, and pretending to eat his carrots then hiding them and saying he ate them. I know it's normal, so I am not worried. Plus, I take these opportunties to talk about his feelings and expectations. I was just curious as to when your kids started telling these untruths.

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answers from Portland on

Around four our son started with the smaller, wishful thinking untruths. The lies have become more about covering his butt, now. We are using the tactic discussed in Nurtureshock, where we tell him how much telling the truth pleases us and how happy it makes us when he's honest-- even if we aren't happy with what he did or what he's telling us, we are glad he told us the truth. When the lie comes up around misbehavior, he knows that if he tells us the truth before we discover it ourselves, we just deal with the misbehavior; if he lies to us about it, then we have to make amends for the misbehavior and we lose a 'trust' type privilege. (That's only happened a few times, thankfully.)

We always want him to know that it will ALWAYS be better to tell the truth and accept the consequence of making amends than it is to lie about it.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

About two months ago. ;-) My son was 4 in December, and he's a clever little dude. He's figured out it's quicker to lie (and possibly take the punishment) than do everything I ask him (like actually use soap when he washes his hands, or saying he wasn't playing in an area where he wasn't supposed to.)

Keeps me on my toes, for sure! (I don't recall my daughter, 6, ever lying to me. They are so different from each other. She lives to please people, and he lives to explore.)



answers from New York on

My daughter was around three. Good for you it took till five!
Elmo generally gets blamed for whatever goes wrong. That is one naughty muppet.


answers from Williamsport on

3 1/2. All three of my kids. They ARE that smart. They no longer lie since it was never allowed (they're not teenagers yet though :), but yup that's the age they can consciously start. (Actually my hellion pulled some impressive fibs at 2 1/2)



answers from Tampa on

I guess I have a devious little monkey on my hands...she started lying when she was around two and a half. She lies to avoid getting in trouble (saying she didn't rip a page in a book) or to get out of doing something (stopping play to put a toy away). She didn't/doesn't do it very often, though.

Interestingly enough, we tell her to tell the truth but reprimand her when she says something hurtful, so now we're working on being nice without lying. :)

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