One of the frustrating questions that comes up often for parents in our community is:

“Why is my child lying,

and what do I do about it?”

It can be so worrisome and upsetting when our kids lie.


Let’s unpack the 3 top reasons why kids lie and my top 3 tips to help our children tell the truth.



3 Reason Children Lie:


1️⃣ Fear of Being Punished:

The #1 reason kids lie is because they’re afraid they’re going to get into trouble or be punished.


2️⃣ It’s Developmentally-Appropriate.

Kids also lie because it is developmentally-appropriate. Young children may be in a phase of exploration, creativity, or they start telling tall tales as part of cause and effect exploration. For younger kids, it takes intelligence to lie and it can be part of intellect development. For older kids lying, it’s often because they don’t want to deal with their parents’ response or they want their autonomy and independence.


3️⃣ Most humans lie.

Kids lie because it’s a human response. Guess what? 99% of people lie sometimes. As adults, we tell white lies because we are feeling “lazy,” embarrassed, tired, or overwhelmed. We lie when we don’t want to deal with the other person’s response, hurt someone’s feelings, deal with confrontation, or get in trouble ourselves. Lying is a human response, even if we don’t want to admit it. We all bend the truth sometimes and tell white lies – and we’re not pathological.



How To Help Kids Tell the Truth:



1️ Stop punishing kids for telling the truth.

If our kids fess up, we have to thank them for their honesty. Acknowledge that it’s hard, even for adults, to tell the truth. Then, we have to use that mistake or mess up to make the plan for next time and find the solution; rather than punishing them when they are honest.  You can also model the way you embrace your mistakes. Show your kids that it’s okay to mess up. Stand in your honesty and integrity as a parent and a person. Send the message of trust and don’t penalize your kids for being honest and truthful. Focus on the lesson learned instead, without lecturing, and make the plan for next time.


2️ Be ready to hear the truth from our kids, including their feedback on our parenting.

If we want our kids to be honest, truthful and full of integrity, we have to be open to the feedback they have for us. Selective honesty is not honesty. Raising honest kids means our kids have a voice. They can tell us: you’re being mean, you don’t trust me, you’re too judgmental, or that’s not fair. And we listen to their feedback, have a dialogue, find the solution, and when needed, pivot our behavior and actions as parents. We are learning and growing alongside our children based on our children’s honest feedback.


3️  Lastly, don’t put your kids in a position to lie.

For example, if you see your child didn’t take out the garbage, don’t ask your kids if they took out the garbage.  Don’t ask your child, “did you eat the cookies,” if you know the cookies are missing and you didn’t eat the cookies. Asking those questions when we know the answer, pushes our children up against a wall and it incites them to lie. We’re not here to frame our kids, so we can punish them. Instead, focus on the solution and teaching the corresponding life skill.


Are your children lying?



Reply to this email and let me know what’s happening. I’d love to offer some support!



💫 For more positive parenting tips and support for your family, join us for the upcoming Happy Home Week beginning September 11th to help you transform behavioral challenges into Connection + Cooperation. 💫


Sending lots of love and support to you and your family.







P.S. Are your kids lying?


1) Check out this group post with more resources.


2) Click HERE to schedule your complimentary Happy Home Coaching Consultation.