Your daughter is having sex with her boyfriend. You don't know because she never learned the value of honesty.
Your daughter is having sex with her boyfriend and she's not telling you because she never learned the value of honesty.
That value she should have learned when she was three years old. But that's why you're here, because (Whew!) your child IS three years old (or close) and here we present you with the gift of what to do now, at the right age, when you can have an impact.
Your child's first lie is surprisingly a moment to be celebrated! Didn't see that one coming, right? It is because it's an incredible mental leap required for children to lie. There are two sets of very important skills called Theory of Mind and Executive Functions you child has developed and must use to pull off a lie.
Your child has come to understand that you can believe something different from them. That's called Theory of Mind. It's the foundation of the critical social skill of Perspective Taking which is not only a critical relationship skill but also the skill needed for compassion. Unfortunately, it's also the mental development of the ability to lie because they've then made the additional mental leap to understand that they can - maybe - make you believe something other than the truth.
Further they have to employ all three of the core executive function skills:
inhibitory control – so they don't blurt out the truth,
cognitive flexibility so they can come up with something creative, and
working memory so they can recall the story they made up as you quiz them further.
However, as parents and caregivers, we want our children to value honesty even if they have developed a wonderful set of skill that can be used to lie.
Thankfully, research shows that we can socialize children to value honesty.
Here is the world's most renown researcher on children lying, Dr. Victoria Talwar, PhD. to talk about three ways that we can help teach children about the value of honesty.
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