Research shows that kids lie, on average, four times an hour. Research also shows that 30% of kids under the age of 8 lie and it increases in age of up to 80% in their teen years.
Kids lie for many different reasons, including shame, embarrassment, fear, protection, and to gain admiration.
According to body language expert Susan Constantine, lies come in many shades of gray, from exaggeration, to boasting, partial truths, and concealment. And it’s important to understand if a child is lying and why. Besides understanding the motivation and correcting behavior, it can also save a child from abuse or bullying.
“Constantine is a renowned prime-time contributor with over 500 national appearances to include: Fox News, CNN, HLN, NBC, CBS, ABC, CBS, Hallmark, NHK World Japan and Author of The Complete Idiots Guide to Reading Body Language.”
Kids and lying may go together like peanut butter and jelly because it’s part of being a kid. But it’s important to understand and be able to detect the difference between small harmless fibs and big consequential deceptions. Kids are capable of both and everything in between—just like adults—for a variety of different reasons.
The question we must consider now is: when should the parent or responsible adult, do something about it, and when should you let it slide?
Susan will share with your audiences how to tell if your kids are lying, and what to do about it. Susan suggests that “sometimes parents and adults need to reexamine whether they are setting themselves up to be lied to. Being too harsh or having unrealistic demands and expectations of your children can drive kids to lie”
She goes on to explain that often, lying increases when there are problems in the home, or something in the family dynamic has shifted. Additionally, being able to detect a lie can save a child that is being abused or bullying.
Kids lie for all kinds of reasons. They may lie to seem smarter or dumber, depending on the audience. They may lie to seem richer, or poorer, more athletic, or worldly. But there is one common thread to when kids lie: risk versus reward. Kids lie when the perceived reward for telling a lie exceeds the perceived risk of getting caught. For example, a child facing certain punishment over something may risk a lie for the possible reward of not getting punished. The greater the gap between the reward and the risk, the greater the motivation is to lie. To understand why kids lie so often, let’s understand why they lie at all. The answer varies with age. A preschooler may be unable to clearly distinguish between fantasy and reality. A kindergartner may lie to avoid punishment, or to get a parent’s attention. Pre-adolescent lies tend to fall into either of these categories, with the possible addition of work avoidance. It is usually not until a child hits his other teen years that dangerous lies are encountered that will keep you up at night. The motivations for kids to lie include: Fear of punishment, Personal gain, peer pressure, to protect themselves from harm, to protect someone else from harm, fear of embarrassment or shame and lastly to gain admiration.
For more information please contact Susan Constantine