Why Do Kids Lie – An Age-By-Age Guide For Parents To Understand Better

Lying is one of those habits that can make or break your future relationships. All of us lie at some instances in life and it is said, that lying for a good cause is acceptable. But, sometimes we tend to cross the limits and take it to the next level. Lying, probably starts from the childhood days, which is nothing uncommon. But, as parents, we need to teach our kids, when to stop and when not to lie at all.

Lying in kids, generally starts involuntarily, sometimes consciously and sometimes unconsciously. And, since every child is different, parents also need to deal with them differently. To be able to handle a child, when he or she is lying, parents need to understand their personality and behavioural traits, interpersonal skills and the triggers for lying. To do so, they first need to understand why kids lie and that too at different age segments.

Toddler And Preschool:

At this age, they are still not exposed to the bigger world, but probably they have seen people lying in their own small social circle. They might have seen you lie once in a while or their elder sibling or others. Since, they cannot judge the intensity of the lie, they feel it is okay for them to lie too in a simple way, imitating the elders. They do not unintentionally to avoid a scolding, or escape from doing something or getting away from a situation or blaming another child or other simple things.

School Kids:

When they start going to school, they interact with other kids, then they develop a different mindset. It can be lying due to peer pressure or to be part of a group. Now, they understand that they can get something by lying and they start exercising it. The previous reasons also hold true. They might lie for hiding something like their bad scores or poor performance, etc. They can also be making up stories, based on their surroundings, the people they interact with or their own imagination.


At this stage, they can understand things much better and they can start lying for monetary gains. While the earlier reasons, also hold good, they can start lying to hide relationships. Tweens will lie to avoid punishments, or for stretching the truth till an extent, where they can get away. By this time, they will very well know how to handle parents. This is also the time, when they get exposed to different new things in life like the Internet, dating, gadgets and a lot more. Lying to get access to these is one of the most common practices in this age group.


In this age group, kids are almost in their adult phase. They want to take decisions and make choices. They have their own world around them, so they lie to fulfil their wishes or satisfy their addiction. They can also lie when they know that you will not approve of something. They want to get easy success and prove their worth. In this process, they can also get fooled by people and they can lie to hide their wrong deeds or emotions.

As a parent, you will know when your kid is lying, and should rectify it immediately. If it goes un-noticed and never corrected, it can become a bigger evil in their lives and might turn into an addictive behaviour, which becomes difficult to cure. So, do not ignore, if your child is lying for simple things. Make them understand that you know the reason and that they should not lie in the future. Do not get aggressive as this will have a bad impact on them and they will keep doing it, secretly, which is worse.