Why do kids tell lies?

Young children have to learn the difference between right and wrong. Be patient and your child will eventually grow out of telling tales.

Make believe

So your five-year-old daughter told her teacher that she’s got a tree house in the garden where the fairies live. ‘Don’t worry,’ says Sylvia Clare, mother, foster mother and author of Releasing Your Child’s Potential (Pathway, £12.95). ‘Young children have extreme difficulty in differentiating between reality in their own mind and external reality. If you tell them off, they’ll feel bad and it won’t solve anything. Instead, ask if she’s always wanted a tree house. Explain that it’s too difficult to get one, but you could instead find her books about fairies and magic. She’s obviously got an imagination which needs nurturing.’

Boasting: ‘My house is the biggest’

‘Children tell these kinds of lies because they lack self-esteem,’ says Sylvia. ‘Don’t scold them, but explain that when people find out the truth, they’ll look silly. Tell them the story of the boy who cried wolf.’