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Your 35-month-old: Why preschoolers lie

Your 35-month-old: Why preschoolers lie


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Your 2-year-old now

For preschoolers, the line between fantasy and reality is blurry, which may explain their tendency to lie. Your child's intent isn't to deceive you. Rather, he wants to say what will make you happy – even if it isn't true. Make it less scary for him to tell the truth and you'll help him avoid fibbing. For example, if he denies drawing on the wall, calmly help him clean up and point out that crayons are for coloring books and paper. Counterintuitively, humor can be another useful response. Go along with the tall tale and embroider it yourself, and your child will probably catch on to the absurdity of his story.

Two-year-olds' lies also sprout from their active imaginations. They come to believe certain things they've imagined really did happen: Maybe it was the dragon under the bed who messed up all those clothes all over the floor.

And sometimes what seems like a lie is sheer forgetfulness. You ask, "Did you put your finger in the frosting of that birthday cake?" and if it happened much earlier in a busy day, he just might not be sure whether he did it or his big sister did.

Your life now

As a baby your child was content to sit in the grocery cart gazing quietly at the kaleidoscope of colors in the aisles. Now it's "I want that!" and "Can I have ...?" Don't be afraid to say no. Concentrate on buying what you came for and don't give into begging and whining unless you want to live with the habits.

Bonus: Experiencing frustration allows a child to learn patience and self-control.

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Watch the video: A Conversation with John McWhorter (November 2022).

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