Remember the childhood rhyme:
Johnny Johnny yes papa
Eating sugar No papa
Telling Lies No papa
Open your mouth Haha
Researchers believe that there is after all truth in this rhymes. Kids do lie, and they start it quite early in their life. It is contrary to what we presume that kids tell the truth and this knowledge has been handed down from generations as a guiding tool. Please unlearn it as soon as possible and look into the what the child psychologist general have to say. The revelations are kind of interesting and logical.
Here is my story which corroborated to the shocking revelation. When my preschooler daughter was on Skype speaking and chatting with her grandparents, she suddenly said in a serious note to his granddad “ Papa told me not to talk with you yesterday night.” He is angry with you and upset. Obviously, he was sad and bit taken aback. I was ashamed and told him I am unaware of any such conversation that has transpired between them. Later when my husband came back from office my question obvious question was”Did you say these to her last night?” His answer was simple NO. When he again asked my daughter she gave a more precise description when and where. At the time of going to bed, she stuck to it quite unfazed of lying. To grandparent, they believe children are innocent and never lie.
Naturally, I became worried ‘what if ‘any such lies crop up and how often do it happen and how to understand which one is truth and which is a lie. The answer to many of these after lot of research and keen observation is that there is no foolproof method. But many important things came to the forefront which I so blissfully unaware till now. The knowledge is an eye opener, and I would like to share with others:
Child learns to lie much earlier than we think they are capable of lying
Just the peek a boo game with your kid would ascertain that the child is capable of lying.If you find that the child is peeping or opening his/her eyes before counting 10 and denying doing so. However; innocent and harmless it is; the little one is capable of lying. In around two years, many of them would acknowledge that they are lying. It reduces as the age goes up. By fourth year they would come up with many stories to ascertain the lie. The false crying of the preschooler of hurting himself/ herself to gain your attention is on the periphery of lying.
Lying is related to Intelligence
Believe it or not, the child has reached a new cognitive developmental milestone. The scientific studies say those children who do not speak the truth early have the ability to construe a make believe the story. And which they know is a particular transgression from the reality. Thus the children social skills have had also developed along with cognitive skills. In my daughter’s case, she is the only grandchild of both maternal and paternal grandparents till now. Pampered by the grandparents and connoisseur of their eyes which she is well aware of. Thus to exploit their emotions are natural. So she perceives that she can have the power to control the emotions and enjoys doing it.
Children lie to avoid punishment
First the child does or say something which he/she should not. Then they are afraid of scolding and try to deny it. So to squirm out of the situation they lie. Even if the children says these lies or transgression from the reality; it is so obvious that we parents tend to ignore it. The signal that goes to the children at the is It’s ok to lie. A perfect example of it is: of you ask your child to close his/her eyes and you tell him/her that you are going to bring him/her some surprise present. As the toddler, he may hold it up for maybe a minute. It decreases drastically for a preschooler they will give into peeking much faster Now if you ask them whether they have peeked through because of the fear of punishment they will deny it. The examples of fear of punishment, however, mild the punishment maybe sends a strong signal. The other day my daughter broke her new set of crayons while colouring. She was on the floor colouring near my work table. I was working on my computer. I asked with a thick voice “did you break it again?” The answer shot at me was obviously “No I did not; it is already broken.” I knew the transgression and scolded her and threatened her that if she goes on breaking it she will not receive any crayons. One obvious thing I ignored was her lies and harped on the deed. So the signal was “It is okay to lie”. Now fast forward it to the same incident next week. She repeated the same thing of breaking some crayons while colouring. This time my approach was different. Instead of scolding and threatening; I assured her that I will not scold her and who has broken it. She did not look up and answered it was her done by her. She will not it do it again. The answer came back with a quite subdued demeanour, and it was an eye-opener for me.
Children cannot distinguish between a mistake and a lie
This can be explained by a simple example from day to day life which we encounter quite often. My husband was very busy working on his laptop. My daughter goes near him and tries to engage him in small talk. He was absent-minded and said it is quite late in the night, please go to sleep.” I promise you, we will be going to park tomorrow. “He forgot it was Thursday and still one more day to go for a weekend. Next day morning she gets up and says “Papa you have promised we will go to the park today” He tried to explain that he forgot that it was Friday and he would surely take her to park on Saturday. The simple interpretation of her was - Daddy lied. She started crying and accusing him of failing to keep the promise. So I could see she just failed to make any difference between mistake and lie. Dad has unwittingly given a message to his daughter that he condones lies. This can be not a significant problem for two years old as their memory is not yet so developed. As the child grows and their remembering power increases; just be a bit cautious although you cannot entirely negate it. But definitely, can reduce it.