Do two year olds lie?

Amy - posted on 05/13/2010 ( 64 moms have responded )

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My neighbor called me today to let me know her two year old, almost 3 year old told her that our daycare was spanking them. Personally I think this child is lying, but she claims children don't lie.

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Jenn - posted on 03/20/2011

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I don't think you should ever just shrug off a statement like that, especially if it was brought up by the child out of the blue. Children this young have a hard time to tell where the truth ends and lying begins, so if they say "I didn't hit sissy" when they did, in fact hit their sister, they could simply mean that they wish they hadn't hit sissy, but not know how to communicate that children this young generally do not tell lies in an attempt to decieve someone. I wouldn't storm in there demanding if they are spanking children, but i would definitely look into it and speak with some other moms that have children who attend that daycare. Not all daycare's are bad, however, I have never sent my child to one for the fact that I have took early childhood development classes and had to do work in a daycare, and i didn't agree with a lot of the ways they dealt with the children, and I found the supervision and discipline to be not to great. This is how children end up getting molested or beat for years at a time, because parents brush them off and do not believe them, and fear bringing it up and causing confrontation. However, you are the parent and it is your job to step in. Your child is too young to defend themselves and have no control in these situations. You are the parent, you chose this daycare and it is your job to protect them and ensure their safety. Please do not just brush these things off. That can cause a child to keep serious matters to themselves because they fear they won't be believed or that they will be punished.

Tine - posted on 05/20/2010

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I used to work in Child Protection... assume there is at least something to look inot. Of course kids can tel untruths, but this sounds dodgy to me - where is this coming from? The child is either being hit by someone or is seeing it somewhere... please look into it, and dont ignore what is somehow important to a tiny child....

Michelle - posted on 05/20/2010

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Yes they lie, but they don't think it is wrong yet. They think it is a way to deal with some situations. If a child lies, and it gets them out of trouble, they will do it again. Vice versa, it is possible they are lying to get someone in trouble. Therefore, I would agree with previous posts and say you should question the teacher to see if there has been ANY trouble, not just spanking. It could be the child's way of saying there is an issue and is using spanking because they know mom doesn't like that.

Chayse - posted on 05/13/2010

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My daughter is 23 months old and she lies! She lies about poohing her diaper, and hitting the cat. In this situation I would visit the daycare and have a chat with whomever was in charge, and let them know that my child is now very suseptible to suggestion/interpretation. The daycare may then have the opportunity to teach the children about lying/honesty and about answering 'yes', 'no' and 'I don't know'. I hope this helps.

Tamie - posted on 05/19/2010

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Sure, kids at any age can lie. Just like adults. Usually there's some reason beyond mere mischief for lying. How would you feel if it was you who told someone you were being mistreated, and they assumed you were lying? How would you feel if you were small and defenceless and no one believed you?

At least give the kid the benefit of the doubt. If something bad happens in the future, this child won't assume that there's no point in asking for help, because no one will take them seriously anyway.

Secondly, how would you respond if an adult made an allegation? You'd at least look into it.

It may be that this toddler doesn't have the communication skills s/he needs to describe what happened, and is just using the limited vocabulary s/he does have. Then, adult ears got a hold of the tail, emotions got involved, and the whole thing may have been blown out of proportion. There's a lot of possibilities. Don't take anything personally (the child isn't trying to attack you, or insult you.) You just want to make sure that the child is OK, and that no one is doing anything that you wouldn't want them to do.

It might, in fact, be worse than spanking - heaven forbid - and you risk brushing something significant under the carpet.

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Regina - posted on 03/20/2011

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Children do lie but they do it to please you or to tell you what you want to hear. So definitely watch your tone when you ask questions. And most importantly, tell her that it's ok to tell the truth. Mommy won't get mad. So of course, investigate and give your daughter the benefit of the doubt. Adults lie way better than children afterall. Good luck!

Kirsty - posted on 03/20/2011

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i know this is an older post, but i would just like to say, yes im a single mum with limited support.. I work.. and i have a 5 year old. I work in a daycare. i love my son, and i love my job. Its unfair to say that daycare is horrible and will not treat your children well . i am a mother i no how hard it is to leave ur children to work, in saying that i would like to add i would never harm another persons child just like i would not harm my own. If u r worried about discipline actions, speak to the director about procedures. Go in to the centre and Get to know the staff before you leave ur child there unattended. Stay at the centre. Observe the staff. Get to know the staff. Ask questions about the routines. Ask questions about what they would do in certain situations. Go over the centres procedures. Staff should be happy to help you with anything that will help.
As for the child saying the staff was spanking, look in to it. Something to keep in mind is did the child say i was spanked or did the parent ask were u spanked? The way the subject was brought up could explain alot.

Felicia - posted on 05/27/2010

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Never underestimate something like this. There have been plenty of people who ignored their kids when they claimed they were beaten, lied on, and even molested. Two years old seems a little too young to distinguish the difference between a lie and the truth. Ask your neighbor what happened when the child told her that. Was he/she in trouble and thought that saying that would take the heat off? Or was it just a random bit of information he/she brought up when talking about their day? Every little bit counts with such an accusation.

Lee Ann - posted on 05/27/2010

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in my personal opinion.....i dont believe that children of that age tell lies exactly, because at that age i dont think they know what a lie or telling the truth is, however, if the little girl is saying someone spanked her or another child it might not be too far fetched to believe her, and i dont think that stay at home moms are more protective.......stay at home moms however are usually with their children 24-7 so most of them feel a bit more in tune with their children, no one take this the wrong way, believe me i consider myself a stay at home mom to a point but i have a job 2 days a week, where my daughter comes with me

Megan - posted on 05/25/2010

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Child psych 101: Between 2 and 5 years old is when children are learning that you don't necessarily know everything they know.
ie. Put a pencil in a candy box, ask them what is in the candy box. They will assume it is candy. Show them the pencil. Close the candy box and ask them what someone else would say when asked what is in the box. They will say a pencil.
That would be the response before they realize they have an independent consciousness.
What happens when they realize this is what we would call a lie; what is actually happening is the child testing the fact that you do not share your minds. This lasts to between 6 and 10, depending on the development of the child, and then intentional lies start.
So yes and no, they do and do not lie. Check it out to be on the safe side and explain to your child what is appropriate to "fibb" about. like the difference between, "They spank us." and "There is a lion on the playground."
In other words, let your child know that saying certain things that are not true may get someone into trouble (which admittedly may encourage intentional lies), and things that are just silly/fun/make-believe.

Amy - posted on 05/24/2010

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SHe is not scared at all. In fact we have asked our daughter a few times about spanking and what is a spanking. She doesn't even react to the question or the word. She loves her daycare and the lady. I have been in a daycare situation that was actually tramatic where she was getting hurt and there was no explaination. Did pull her from that center. At this daycare she is clean and no scratches on her when I pick her up. She is smiley and happy and doesn't want to go home with me. I appreciate the advice and I think I got a lot of good answers.

Emma - posted on 05/22/2010

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yes definatly my daughter has just turned 3 and is always makin thing up! she will come up to me when im in the same rm as her dad and say daddy just smacked me when i clearly seen he didnt!lol!
imagination and attention i think!

Heidi - posted on 05/22/2010

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Well, some children do have a tendency to distort the truth. But it would be a good idea to check it out and see if there is something strange going on that is sparking the confusion. You are the mother and the protector of your family so it is your responsibility to listen and understand what is happening to your child.

Kym - posted on 05/21/2010

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They do lie a little...But they don't really understand that they are. It is not conscious. I would look into it though. You definitely don't want to dismiss what they have said with something so important

Sarah - posted on 05/21/2010

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Yes, they do lie. my nephew always lies about stuff.. it is true they dont know they are lying.. they are 2 years old. they make stuff up.

Erin - posted on 05/21/2010

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I think the advice thing has been covered.

On a side note, there's a new study that came out last week saying "Researchers have found that the ability to tell fibs at the age of two is a sign of a fast developing brain and means they are more likely to have successful lives"

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/77305...

Leah - posted on 05/21/2010

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Yes they lie!!!! My daugher does it all the time. I will see her trip and fall with my own eyes and she will turn to me and say her sister pushed her (her sis will be in the other room!).. They tell you whatever they want you to hear. Your kid would be scared to go if she was being spanked. I'm sure it's BS.

Jane - posted on 05/21/2010

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i know that our 3 yr old tells a lot of stories these days and some of them involve someone hitting someone else on the playground but i'm with her 24/7 and nobody's hit anyone. maybe she is seeing someone get spanked or maybe another child gets spanked at home and is talking about it at daycare. in all fairness, ask the daycare - it's what your neighbor should do before picking up her phone and spreading the word.

Kendall - posted on 05/20/2010

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my daughter will be 2 in 2 months but from what ive experienced with others' children. i would say yes they do!!!

Erica - posted on 05/20/2010

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I am not a pro-daycare individual but I DO understand that sometimes there is no way around it, married or not. After 911 my husband, being a pilot, could not find a full time job and we went into some serious debt so I had to pick up a full time job to help. There was a period of 3 years where we both worked full time and I had to find babysitters to watch our then 2 year old, and no, very few employers offer childcare. I was in a new state, knew nobody, had no family (his or mine) and struggled with finding regular babysitters. We did not make enough to pay for daycare, but made too much to get state help (they do not look at the amount of debt, just the income). It is HORRIBLE to tell a mom that she is wrong in sending her child to daycare, every situation is different. And also, not all daycare's are bad - there are some very good one's out there who staff appropriately and follow guidelines.
After saying all of this, it is a good thing to check into a child's story. Toddlers DO lie (I have 4 kids and I will attest to that), but it has never hurt for a parent to look into a child's story. These are not accusations, just parents who want to make sure their child is safe with their caretakers. A daycare employee should be able to appreciate a parent who can come to them and ask questions about the treatment of their child as well as other children.

Jennifer - posted on 05/20/2010

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Actually I find the lies as part of normal toddler development. She needs to read a basic Developmental Psych 101 book if she thinks children don't lie. Preschoolers don't even have a concept of fantasy vs reality...it is ALL real including what the daydream and what they see on tv.

Lindsey - posted on 05/20/2010

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Hi Amy,
i watched a science documentary not so long ago which proved that children are able to lie from the age of two, but my three year old still hasn't cottoned onto lying which is good!
The best thing to do would to be approach the daycare manager and ask what methods of discipline they are using, ask to see their discipline procedures (they need to have them in black and white and should have them readily available for you to see - they shoudl have let you see them before your child was enrolled).
if they are using any discipline methods which you do not use at home, you are entitled to ask them to stop using them.
If smacking is not in their policy you could have grounds to take them to court, but consult your lawyer about that. If you are unhappy with the way they are dealing with discipline in their daycare, take your child out.
http://www.supernanny.com/Search.aspx?se...
you may find this website helpful. At my three year olds playgroup, they don't use smacking as a discipline method, and they don't allow parents to use it on their own children in front of others, or on the premises.
good luck.
xxx

Katie - posted on 05/19/2010

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What the hell?! I'm a "SAH" mom and I REALLY hope that you are as "reactive and protective" of your child as I am of mine. If my almost 3 yr. old told me that they were being spanked at daycare, I'd believe them. It's better to protect your child NOW and end up having to appologize to an adult, than it is to allow your child to be hurt just because you don't believe it happened. How are you going to appologize to your child for failing to protect them? (And as a person who was spanked as a child, I can tell you from first hand experience, that I was ALWAYS clean, well-fed, and I NEVER had a mark on me either. Spanking doesn't leave bruises.)

Michelle - posted on 05/19/2010

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My lord.. after reading a lot of the posts it is a wonder why any one chooses to go into childcare with so many looking as a situation "guilty until proven innocent". Your child will encounter people in their life that influence them. Weather it be in daycare, preschool, school, or the neighborhood. Logic would tell anyone to look into a situation that could be concerning. That does not mean all people are bad and can't be trusted. There is merit to the old saying it takes a village to raise a child.

Michelle - posted on 05/19/2010

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Yes, children do lie. My son likes to go to daycare and tell them I didn't get a bath or my parents didn't brush my teeth when we did. What his motives are who knows..? May be he is learning reactions to things he has been told we have to do or we can not do. But I hear creative stories from his daycare almost weekly.

Amy - posted on 05/19/2010

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Sure toddlers lie, but I don't think they really understand that it's a lie and that lying is wrong. However, if you want to know the truth, watch the kids behavior. I discovered that my stepson was being spanked at daycare & his moms house because he was spanking his dad while they played together. He would always do 3 pats to his dads bum and then tell him to go to time out (which, I think, is overkill on the discipline - pick time out or spanking, but not both for one misbehavior). After a couple of weeks of this being a constant factor in Lucas' play, I mentioned my concern about the daycare possibly spanking to her, and she told me that yes, the daycare people spanked, and that she was also spanking him at her house. Unfortunately, about 3 months after that, Lucas got to the point that spanking was the *only* discipline that he'd respond to, and it took me over a year to get him to the point of time outs/verbal reprimands being as effective again.

So, long story short, don't ignore it, or assume the child is lying. Watch what they do - if something is happening that you don't agree with, you will notice it in your child's play. (another note: being a SAHM doesn't automatically make a person more reactive or protective. It'd be nice if that were true, but I've known plenty of SAHM's that ignore their children until they get sick of hearing them and then blow up, so please don't take for granted that the daycare isn't spanking.)

Barbara - posted on 05/19/2010

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Unfortunately, yes. When I taught, especially young ages, I would kid with the parents & say" I won't believe the stories they tell me about you if you don't believe the stories they tell about me." Yet there has to be a balance because there may be truth mixed in their story, but they may be getting it mixed up with a different experience.

SUE - posted on 05/19/2010

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i would defiently ask the child minder straight out, and not in front of your child , . i have a three year old and if he said that to me i would be concered because he would have no reason to make up a story if he enjoyed being with the carer,. ..

Savanna - posted on 05/18/2010

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~ YES CHILDREN LIES THEY SAY WHAT THEY HEAR IF SOMEONE IS LYING AROUND THE CHILD THE CHILD WILL PICK UP ON IT CUZ MY 3 YR OLD LIE ~

Melissa - posted on 05/18/2010

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When my daughter was 2 now almost 4 she "told stories" which I let go, now at 4 I wish I would have stopped it because she makes things up all the time and I know for a fact they are not true...

Nancy - posted on 05/18/2010

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Yes they do lie my son did not lie but he plays with another boy that he does lie so learn and sometimes he does something to the other boy (like not sharing a toy and fight for it) and then other kids starts crying so I go and ask what happens he tells me that the other boy hit him I ask 2 of them to c there version and I know my son and I tell him that I don't like it if he is lien and I ask again then he tell me the true... so yes they do lie just learn how your kid express and u would know for sure

Kylie - posted on 05/17/2010

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I think children tend to exagerate the truth. For example a carer tells off the child and gets a reaction from parent so then goes on with a story. However I would address the issue in a serious but firendly manner with the carer/s. NO-one can look after our kids like we can and we can never be too careful with our kids :-) Would prefer to look like an idiot and be wrong than ignore it and for it to continue

Lyndsay - posted on 05/17/2010

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The other day I left my almost three year old in the tub to grab his towel from his room (his bedroom is right across the hall from the bathroom). During the 10 seconds I was in his room, he splashed everywhere and got water all over the bath. When I came back in, he's like "bad shark!" and spanked his bath toy shark. Then he told me that it was the shark who got water all over the bathroom, not him. So yes, two year olds lie. That being said, I don't think that two year olds lie about abuse and if she says the babysitter is spanking them then there may be some grain of truth to that.

Meghan - posted on 05/17/2010

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my 19 month old ripped his book-I saw him do it. When I asked him what happened and why he did it he answered "pony" I said the pony ripped your book? he said "yup, bad pony" Not as serious but yeah, children tell fibs as soon as they start talking lol.

If you have major concerns (or if she does) I suggest stoppping by the day care unanncounced?

and about this day cares being bad buisness. I agree, what about single moms or even 2 parents NEEDING to work? I live with my mother, don't get child support, have no college training and have finally decided to get my you know what together and enrolled in university for the fall....that means I have to put my son in daycare...would I love to stay home with my son all day-absolutly. But I need to do this for the BOTH of us. Should I just stay put and keep working at a bar during the nites, being exhuasted all the time afterwards and putting the pressure on my family to watch my son or should I step up and be a good role model and provide for my son?? Ridiculous!

ANIA - posted on 05/17/2010

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My 30 month old blames the dog for drawing on wall. I either have a special dog or my girl has a good imagination. I don't consider that lying and try not to smile and laugh when she blames the dog. I do ask her again and explain that Odin could not have done that because he can't hold the crayon on his paw...I never tell her she is lying or yell at her or smile or laugh... she doesn't know what lie is. As to your day care i would speak to the director and just make sure there isn't a little truth to what the neighbor child is saying, he might have seen a child cry and assumed child was hit. Or if his mom asked him " have you ever been spanked/" he just might have said yes to agree with mom. Your daycare director should be able to find out if a child has ever been harmed in her facility.

Paula - posted on 05/17/2010

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Our 2 year old lies. He'll tell me that Daddy said he could if I say no (dad is in the same room as me) and vice versa but it is generally if he wants something. He does however always admit when he's thrown his food away or drawn on the walls etc. so I would say there may be some element of truth in the daycare part.

Sandy - posted on 05/16/2010

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Do do understand about single moms having to work but there are ways around it. First off don't just ask one person or 2 people to help have it set up with many of you close friends and family I bet you on their days off they will help you. Even grand parents, most these days have at least home. Unless you you find a day care that has web cams all through the building then I would not trust a strange person with my child. I'm sorry but I was raised old school, and that is the way my children will be raised

[deleted account]

Yep. There are other options. Which is why I'm still on welfare since I can't find a real stay at home job that is actually something I can DO........



I'm a single mom too ever since my ex bailed on us while I was pregnant w/ our now 2 year old son and refuses to pay any child support. Though I'd be better off financially if he did pay child support and I was OFF welfare.... even w/out working.



I'm 1000000% against daycare, but there are ways to state that w/out insulting every single woman who puts their child IN daycare........

Jennifer - posted on 05/16/2010

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Wow! I can't believe what I am hearing. All daycares are bad is just llke saying all parents are good. If you put your kid in the care of someone else, just have your eyes wide open and do your research. I am still amazed at how we as moms are bashing one another instead of helping. It saddens me.

Brittany - posted on 05/15/2010

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Teresa lay off Sandy. She's right. Even though you do not like to read it. I AM a single mom tho i have family there are not willing to leave their jobs to watch my child. But i will not put my child in a day care. There ARE other ways to go about working with out having to put a child in day care. There are plenty of jobs that allow moms to stay home and work.

[deleted account]

Way to be helpful and supportive Sandy....... I wonder what you would do if you were a single mom w/out any available close family members to watch your child...... Not that that is neccessarily the case of the OP, but if someone who IS in that situation reads what you wrote.... how is that going to make them feel when they have no CHOICE but to leave their child?



Anyway, yes 2-3 year olds DO lie. Most of it isn't neccessarily deliberate lying though. It's more imagination... or trying to get out of trouble/avoid something they don't like. I'd definitely investigate a claim like that though.

Sandy - posted on 05/15/2010

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If you choose to believe people who you don't know over you own children {who you raised} well you are just teaching your kids that you will never believe them. So what kind of parent are you?

Sandy - posted on 05/15/2010

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Here is the truth about daycares, they are bad. I would believe my child over any day care. I don't believe in those places, they do mis treat children. Not only that they will use your childs belongings on other children. Either leave your child with a close family member or stay home with him/her.

Jennifer - posted on 05/15/2010

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Children do lie, it's part of learning their world and boundaries. But it is definitely worth investigating.

Kerri - posted on 05/15/2010

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Yes they do! I work in a daycare and it is amazing what these kids will lie about. They will fall and say "Tommy* pushed me" mean while Tommy* will be on the other side of the room! or when they line up to wash their hands they yell "I have to go to the bathroom" when they don't have to go just because they want to be first.

but they do need to get the idea somewhere. maybe one of the other kids came in and said "mommy spanked me" and the other child repeated it with a few alterations.

*(Tommy is not the name of any of my students)

Medea - posted on 05/15/2010

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I would ask the daycare. Don't use the word spanking. Maybe phrase that a child stated that some teachers were being rough and see if they can look into it for you. Spanking would set off some major red alarms and could get someone in trouble with no reasoning behind it.
I have been a SAH mom and a working on office mom. I know kids have big imaginations, but when it comes to something like this I would always look into it.

Brandie - posted on 05/15/2010

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I believe any child is capable of lying. My daughter is 15 months, and she lies. It's up to the parents to teach the difference.
I think there is a point that kids needs to get to before they fully understand what lying is, and that it's bad. It's different for every kid.
I wish you luck. I hope your neighbors kid is wrong, for the kids' sake

Joy - posted on 05/14/2010

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my son dont know how to lie yet but then again he will never know what it's like to be in a daycare..some daycares are abusers to kids..think about it, we got spanked in school and our parents didnt know about it..GOD i got paddled almost every day...so i would really look into that cause maybe the teacher is only spanking some kids and not others

Sheryl - posted on 05/14/2010

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i agree with the other ladies it doesn't hurt to look into it. esc. when they are that little!

Sheryl - posted on 05/14/2010

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my son lied at two years old just to get out of trouble. know if there are marks or she has seen it or something then i would be worried!

Brittany - posted on 05/14/2010

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P.S. Children only do what they see from their parents. So if your child lies think about what your doing and saying.

PPS a good parent no matter if they have slight doubt would look into it for the safety of their child.

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