The Terrible Lies Toddler Tell

toddler liesSometimes it seems the minute your baby learns to talk, it's to deny that he bit the dog. Our house is a constant guessing game with the two-year-old swearing he did not poop (when we can all smell that, seriously dude), and my pre-schooler saying she just ate all of her broccoli when I can see right in front of me that she did not. Does she think I'm blind, or just stupid? I wonder. Yes, it's frustrating. Especially since I have an overdeveloped sense of justice, and hate not knowing the whole truth and nothing but.

Yet getting to the truth in our household of lies is challenging, fruitless, and I feel like a jerk every time I ask my daughter to "prove" that she washed her hands. And more importantly, how do you know if you've got a typical toddler on your hands, or a budding sociopath?


Toddlers are notoriously self-absorbed. So when my daughter doesn't want to take time out to head to the bathroom, or wants to get to dessert RIGHT NOW, she's going to do whatever it takes to fill her immediate need. She's not stopping to question the moral code she's breaking to pieces. This frustrates me to no end, and I wonder when, exactly she is going to learn that lying is wrong. But apparently pre-schoolers who lie have higher IQ scores. So my kids must be off the charts, those little liars.

Still, I worry, even though according to What to Expect, I need to chill out. They advise "gently coaxing" the truth out of my tiny fibbers. Getting angry and trying to force your kid to tell the truth (or do anything for that matter) is never helpful. But I don't want them to lie in the first place. Apparently preventing the lying is more difficult, as they aren't saying, "Here's the trick!" But there are tips such as, set a good example by not lying yourself. Check. And limit the opportunities for them. As in, don't ask them if they did something, say, "I see that you fed the dog your zucchini muffin." Okay, I can get behind that.

So I'll be gentle, and let them know the jig is up. Will this stop the deception? Doubtful. Because as I flip through even more parenting advice books and websites, no one ever says, "One day this will stop."

Do your kids lie to you?


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