Study Shows There May Be an Upside to Having a Lying Child


A New Study shows that there may be an upside to having a lying child. ABC News has reported that kids who are good at lying may also be smarter than anyone thinks. Children who decided to lie while taking part in the experiment for the study seemed to be more skilled in verbal creativity and memory tests. It is believed that children who are skilled at lying learn to become better thinkers and also develop better memories. Their ability to cover up the lies they tell so well requires verbal dexterity and skill. They chose their words so carefully that telling lies is like second nature and they can cover them up extremely successfully because so much thought is put into the act.

The article said that one in five adult interactions are based on lies, according to research, so it is only natural that children are picking up the behavior and getting good at it. Adults are role models for them and they learn from what they see on a daily basis. Dr. Robyn Silverman, who is a child development specialist, said that typically there is a reason behind the lies that children tell. She said that some lie to get out of trouble, some lie because they feel bad about something, while others lie because they enjoy pulling the wool over someone else’s eyes. She added that adults confuse children by accepting some lies while condemning them for others. Adults consider some lies good and others bad and this baffles children.

UPI said that the study was conducted on six and seven- year-olds and 137 of them were involved. They were given the chance to cheat while playing trivia games and even lie about their own actions. They children were also recorded during the study. The article said that it is true that parents should not be proud of their children for lying or encourage them to do so, but the actual act of lying makes them better at thinking and improves their memory skills. lying

Silverman and parenting expert, Lindsay Powers, said that it is important for parents to understand why children lie. They also advised parents on what to do to prevent lying from occurring and how they can foster creativity and good memory in children as opposed to traits such as lying. Silverman and Powers stated that parents need to promote honesty as a family value. They also should set the tone in the household and be a positive role model. If an adult is truthful and shows that to the child, the child will pick up the behavior. Silverman added that honesty is a powerful word and should be within the home. Powers put in the importance of one’s actions speaking louder than words and how children will pick up on that. She also said that parents need to show children that telling the truth is beneficial and that they should not scold kids when they tell the truth. Children should feel comfortable coming to parents as opposed to being afraid to speak up.

While the study does show that there may be an upside to having a lying child, Powers and Silverman are not advocating parents instilling this behavior in children. They feel that parents should work to foster good behavior in children. The two said that parents need to be mindful about what type of role model they are being and not reinforce bad character traits such as lying. Powers said that parents should get excited about what kids are excited about and encourage them. The goal is to make them feel good about themselves without tying their sense of self-worth to one particular thing, as Pop Sugar put it.

The two also said that parents should teach children the difference between lying and creative storytelling. This type of storytelling fosters creativity and allows them to use their imagination without lying involved. Games and storytelling of this kind show children that there is another and better way than lying. Children learn through the actions of others and when adults are with them, they can either make it a positive or negative experience. There are opportunities for teaching and learning and whether adults take advantage of that or not is important.

The study did show that there may be an upside to lying and some people may be fascinated by that and consider it a positive thing, but the situation could spiral out of control if parents are not careful, according to UPI. Children learn from watching adults, so adults have to be mindful of what they are displaying to children. Lying can have consequences and can lead children down a bad path. Parents have the power to instill more positive traits in children that can help them in the long run.

By Heather Granruth


UPI: Study: Kids with good memories are better liars

Pop Sugar: Why It’s a Good Thing That Your Kid Is a Liar

ABC News: Kids Who Are Good Liars Have Better Memories, New Study Indicates

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia- Creative Commons License

Photo Courtesy of More Good Foundation’s Flickr Page- Creative Commons License

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