Most Common Lies Parents Tell Kids

One possible reason parents lie is because of the stress they feel when their children don’t behave.

One possible reason parents lie is because of the stress they feel when their children don’t behave.

A study published in the International Journal of Psychology found that 84% of parents in the United States and 98% of parents in China lie to their children to make them behave. When lies are told to children it gets the clinical description of  “instrumental lying.”

Common Lie To Kids: In both countries, the most common lie told by parents is the same. It occurs when a child is having a tantrum in public and the parent says he or she will walk away and leave the child if the kid does not behave.

Common Lie To Kids: Another common lie is a false promise of buying a requested toy or other item at a later date if the child behaves.

Most Common Lie To Kids: Parents lie the most about food, spending money and misbehaviour, according to the study.

Parents in the United States lied more about fictional characters such as Santa Claus and the tooth fairy compared to parents in China.

One possible reason parents lie is because of the stress they feel when their children don’t behave, researchers said.

The study also found that mothers and fathers lie at the same rate, but that Chinese parents were more accepting of telling lies to their children.

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About Stu Dunn

Stu Dunn, Founder of SDL Behavioural Science Consultancy and Head Consultant, International Speaker, FACS Certified, Micro Expressions, Body Language & Deception Detection Expert. Stu Dunn is the first Facial Action Coding System (FACS) Certified consultant in New Zealand. Stu has had a natural interest in human behaviour and non verbal communication for most of his life. Stu's continued study of psychology, body language, micro expressions and FACS has helped him become New Zealand's leading expert in micro expressions, emotional surveillance and FACS (FACS is the most detailed de-coding of the face, and universally recognized by psychologists and physiologists worldwide). Stu is also one of the first in the world to achieve Master Level on Humintell's Mix Elite Micro Expressions software. Stu has been studying body language since 2001, and has worked with participants from New Zealand, Australia, United States, United Kingdom, India, Canada, Germany, Afghanistan, Portugal, Switzerland, Poland, Macedonia and Sri Lanka so far. This includes working with participants from the NZ Defence, IRD Fraud Investigators, Sri Lankan Customs, Homeland Security, Telecom NZ and Vodafone to name a few. Stu's areas of expertise include: micro expressions, emotions and emotional surveillance, body language, deception, interviewing, training, business consulting, video analysis (evaluating truthfulness & credibility), FACS coding (videos, pictures and animation), sales training, assistance with criminal and private investigations.
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