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To Tell the Truth: Kids' Edition

By Julie Davis
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 28, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Teaching kids about telling the truth is a critical life lesson. And your approach can determine how motivated your kids are to be honest.

Younger children are more likely to tell the truth because they want to please you; older ones understand that it's the right thing to do.

Older kids also are less motivated by the threat of getting punished, according to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. In fact, threats can have the opposite effect, making children less likely to tell the truth because they fear the punishment.

A child's behavior often depends on his or her age. Kids under 6 may not grasp the concept of lying. But children over 6 typically know the difference, and know when they're being deceitful.

Try to understand what might prompt kids to fib. They may be under pressure -- and fail -- to meet overwhelming demands, such as high achievement in school or sports. Or they might be trying to save face and avoid disappointing you after they behaved in a way they've been taught is wrong. See if the circumstances that prompted the lying need to be changed.

How you deal with a lie matters. Carrying out threats doesn't seem to help with future honesty. Rather, explain why truthfulness between parents and children is key to a good relationship and that they'll be in far less trouble if they tell the truth when there's a problem.

Be aware that if a child hears you telling "white lies" or stretching the truth yourself, you're sending him or her a mixed message and could undermine your lesson in honesty.

More information

HealthyChildren.org, a service of the American Academy of Pediatrics, has a section for parents on why a child lies and how to handle it.

Copyright © 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=730350

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
Deception
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The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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