Why it’s good for children to lie

Children who lie do better in life, say researchers

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Children who learn how to lie have a higher IQ and will do better in their career, a study has revealed.

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Parents normally encourage children not to lie, often turning to Pinocchio and his oversize nose to discourage the habit. But, ironically, the truth is that kids learn to lie from watching their parents, reports Stylist.

Here at MFM HQ, we remember being told to lie about our age to get a cheaper fare on the bus and pretending we were busy so the neighbour couldn’t pop in for coffee. These so-called ‘white’ lies teach children that, in some instances, it’s ok to lie. Even harmless make-believe games are a socially acceptable form of lying.

Kang Lee, director of the Institute of Child Study at Toronto University, says that as children we become aware of three types of lying – those lies that are kind to others, lies that are for self-deception, and the ones that protect us from punishment.

You might think you don’t have to worry about this until your children are older, but Kang’s research revealed that most children know how to lie by the time they’re 3-years-old. At 6, most children will be lying a couple of times a day.

Now, before you go buying a lie detector, Kang’s researches shows that 2-year-olds who’d learnt to lie had a higher than average IQ.

Lying is more taxing on the brain and, according to researches at Harvard and Duke University, telling lies shows an ability to think outside the box. This is where the career boost comes from, with those who can bend the truth to their advantage, getting to the top quicker than their peers.

Ian Leslie, author of Born Liars, added, “Evidence shows the people who are better at lying to themselves rise to the top of the business world.”

So, if your child’s recent crayon creation isn’t your idea of Van Gough… well, you know what to do. 

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