The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Childhood lying

She walked into the classroom, went up to her teacher, and said her sister got attacked by an animal. Although this rarity has the potential to be accurate, it wasn’t. 

This is an example of stories that many elementary school teachers hear. 

Lies like these are common among young children. It won’t necessarily be about someone getting chased by an animal, but it will be along similar creative lines. 

When kids lie, it’s not with malicious intent. It’s more because they have a different understanding of the reality around them.

— Haley McLaughlin

Children will say things that are undoubtedly a lie. They’ll say they’re holding one thing when you can clearly see they are holding two of them. Kids think differently when they tell unique lies like these.

“Children don’t really know the difference between what’s real and what’s imaginary because there’s so much imaginary play,” McLaughlin said. “These are the things that we lose as we get older. We just lose that fun sense of imagination and putting ourselves in a different dimension of play.”

As brains mature, their mind loses the urge to tell fanciful lies. McLaughlin says that as people age, the lies become more malicious. 

Of course, these lies don’t just come up out of nowhere. There is an influence behind them. No matter how minimal and insignificant that influence is, it can affect a child’s perception of the world. 

McLaughlin’s students show that parents, TV shows, movies, and books all impact a kid’s mind. They take little snippets from these real-life examples and let it drive them to create the imaginative lies they spread. 

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