1 Big Reason to Celebrate Next Time Your Kid Tells a Lie

lying childNo one likes a liar, especially when it’s our kids doing the lying, but could a child’s dishonesty actually be a good thing? That’s what the results of a new study seem to suggest, and they might just have you celebrating in secret the next time you catch junior telling a tall tale.


Researchers in the University of Sheffield's Department of Psychology recently carried out a test to determine what lying says about a child’s cognitive development. For the experiment, they took 6- and 7-year-old kids and gave them the chance to cheat during a trivia game by looking at answers on the back of a card. The kids denied looking, of course, but researchers used hidden cameras to determine which ones were actually telling the truth. They then questioned the kids further to see how well the kids were able to uphold and expand on their lies.

Ultimately, researchers found that the kids who were better at lying also did better on verbal working memory tests, meaning they had stronger memories and were able to keep track a lot of information in order to come up with cover stories for their lies. Basically, kids who lie better have stronger cognitive abilities -- they’re better at processing and recalling information.

Lying is a sign you’ve got a smarty-pants on your hands.

So, does this mean we’ve suddenly got a green light to start preaching the value of dishonesty to our little ones? Well, not exactly. But we do have permission to give ourselves a little bit of a break and to stop thinking we’re the world’s worst parent every time one of our kids seeks refuge in the Land of Make Believe.

More From The Stir: 12 Things Worth Lying About To Your Child

We tend to turn innocuous things into signs of virtue in our society. When a child is dishonest, we view them as bad or damaged in some way. We think they must have questionable morals or their parents are doing something wrong. We find a way to make it about good and bad, as opposed to just seeing it as the normal developmental milestone that it is.

It’s hard to admit, but most of the issues we face in parenting just aren’t that big of a deal. Breast milk does not give kids super powers. Watching television doesn’t rot their brains. Not playing with them every second of the day ends up fostering independence. Instead of looking for ways to judge ourselves and each other, we’d do well to remember that almost nothing is as good or as bad as it seems.

How often do your kids tell fibs?


About the Author: Ashley Austrew is a freelance writer who loves tacos, Target, and screen time. Her work has appeared on Mommyish, Scary Mommy, Modern Day Moms, and more. You can read more on her website or follow her on Twitter.

Image via shutterstock


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