Parents Beware! Toddlers Know When You Are Lying
White lies can come naturally for parents especially when they use it to emphasize a certain point to their children. However, parents should think twice before lying to their kids because even toddlers know when their parents are lying. This was the findings of a study that tested the capability of children to discern truth from lies.
Daily Mail said researchers found out that even children as young as two years old can recognize false beliefs and can tell when people are pretending or lying. Using the "false belief task" methodology, international researchers analyzed over 140 children in the United States belonging to the two and a half age bracket to determine if they understand when other people think differently.
Prima said researchers thought that children would find it overwhelming to deal with incorrect reasoning that leads to misconceptions, also known as false beliefs. The said study, which came out in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, revealed that the young children are aware when other people have different beliefs from them. This debunked the belief that only older children are able to grasp the difference.
'When children around the world are asked what someone with a false belief will do next, it is usually not until age four or five that they answer correctly,' University of Illinois psychology professor Renee Baillargeon said.
Parents said parents are the children's role model when it comes to honesty and they wield so much influence among their children when it comes to telling the truth. Victoria Talwar, Ph.D., associate professor at the McGill University in Montreal Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology said it is important to teach children about honesty even at an early age. People lie for a variety of reasons including personal gain, for the sake of being polite or to get out of trouble. This is true for both adults and children.