Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Telling a Lie

Many parents view truthfulness as the most important characteristic of a good child, more important than obedience or friendliness, for example. Not surprisingly these parents get very upset whenever a child utters an untruthful remark.

Children begin saying things that are untrue at about age three or four. At this stage of development, they are beginning to explore the world of imagination and fantasy.

Parents may hear about the “elephant” in the neighbor’s backyard, or other tall tales of the child’s creative imagination. The child is not trying to deceive. He is just telling the parent a tall story — just like the one a parent read to him the night before!

What to do? The development of a child’s creative imagination should generally be encouraged rather than frowned upon, as long as the child is not seeking to deliberately deceive the parent.
A parent can enter into the child’s fantasy game, yet instill a sense of reality by saying, “Draw me a picture of your imaginary elephant.”


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