Lying is tied to a child’s age and level of moral development. Recent studies prove that kids as young as 3 intentionally lie to avoid punishment and earn rewards. This is because the first two stages of moral development are about punishment and immediately satisfying needs.
Four- to-7 years old think rules are absolute and unchangeable and get upset when rules aren’t followed in games.
From ages 6-10, children label any untrue statement as a lie, so if you tell a “little white lie” in front of this child, he’ll call you on it.
By 7-8, they know that rules are agreements between people and are flexible.
Around 11, kids see that intentionally false statements are lies and recognize that some lies are acceptable. They also seek to be “good” boys and girls who want to follow rules to maintain order. Before punishing Mark for lying, consider his age.
Do the best you can to keep them on the "straight and narrow"! Claudia
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