Liar, Liar! Toddlers Who Fib Become Successful Adults

Suzanne Murray

pinnochio toddlers lying
Flickr photo by House of Sims
Does your toddler lie? According to recent research, 20 percent of 2-year-olds do; 50 percent of 3-year-olds do; and almost 90 percent of 4-year-olds do. But don't worry, that's a good thing.

Researchers say that the ability to tell fibs at the age of 2 is a sign of a fast-developing brain and means these little liars kids are more likely to have successful lives.

Kang Lee, director of the Institute of Child Study at Toronto University, who led the study on kids and lying, says that when children have learned to lie, it means they've reached an important stage in their development called "executive function" -- the ability to tell a convincing lie by keeping the truth at the back of their mind.

More good news: The better the liar, the smarter the kid. And there's no link between telling fibs as a toddler and cheating in school or becoming a criminal later on in life.

So should we clap our hands and yell, "Good job!" every time our toddler tells a fib? Not necessarily.

Dr. Lee told the Times Online that while catching your child lying isn't something for which he should be punished, you should consider it a teachable moment and talk to your child about the importance of honesty. "After the age of 8, the opportunities are going to be very rare," he says.

Have you caught your toddler in a lie yet?

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