Can Strict Parents Turn Children Into Liars?

Strict parents lying cover

Parenting is perhaps one of the most sensitive topics. Each parent wishes to raise their child to the best of their ability and they’d read countless articles, watch videos, and ask questions to other parents when it comes to that. However, the truth is that it is the time and situation that are the deciding factors on how one will raise their offspring, and more often than not parents tend to become strict in order to discipline their children or simply to show their care for them. Unfortunately, kids see this in a different way and turn into liars and this is not just a vague claim, study state this strongly.

Why are parents strict?

Before knowing if authoritarian parents raise proficient liars it is important to understand what makes them exhibit this behavior. There are myriad of reasons why one would act in this way towards their own children, while some are good others not so much. The good ones have the best interest of their child in their heart, they do not want to see their child get hurt or get tangled up in a situation that may cause them harm and pain in the long run, I’d say better communication can easily translate this to the children and they’d be more than willing to cooperate.

Parenting group

Parenting group discussing.

While the previous one can be sorted out with communication, parents that act strictly in order to look good themselves can be strongly problematic. Each and every field of life have groups and undoubtedly, parenting is one field where each and every other parent will judge each other on how they raise their kids and if your child happens to be playing around or just you know, being a child you’ll be hearing about this. This kind of pressure forces one to be strict with their child. In addition to that, there is this understanding that lenient parenting will raise rebellious children, which is perhaps one of the most absurd things one can say. Children are truly innocent, and if they are fed with love they will reflect nothing but love back, it is only when they are faced with forced obedience that they start to rebel. Finally, setting high standards is another form of strict parenting. Yes, they are your offspring and carry your genes but that doesn’t mean they must excel in the same fields as yourself.

Strict Parenting and Lying children

Now it is understandable that children are not always easy to work with and disciplining them becomes an important and only choice at times, however, it is also essential that one does not go overboard and start micromanaging their lives. In the past, some psychologists believed that children must not be controlled and should be set free to explore the world at their own pace as this will not only allow them to solve problems more efficiently but also become brutally honest and confident in themselves. But no studies were conducted that would confirm this theory until the year 2020. A study was conducted that in fact, confirmed it and parents were surprised, to say the least.

Peeking child study

A child peeking.

In this study, toddlers from two schools were invited to take part in a guessing game where they’d have to guess which toy made what sound. Psychologists chose two specific schools because one was known for its controlling and strict behavior while another one was much more lenient in the way they treat their students. Prior to the game, parents of each child were interviewed with a series of questionnaires in which they asked how would they react if their young one made a mistake or was misbehaving, strict parents stated they would punish the child either by grounding them or spanking them while more lenient ones state they’d simply discuss it with their child and make them understand what they were doing was wrong. Once the interviews were completed, the game was initiated.

Toy lion study

A toy lion.

The rules of the game were simple, each child was sat individually in a room with their back facing the toys and only two toys were present in the room that made distinct sounds, and children were asked to guess what toy made which sound. Following this, the children were left alone in the room and were told not to peek to see what toys were present in the room, and secretly a toy lion was added into the room which made a greeting sound. During this time, kids were monitored via the camera. Upon the return of the experimenter, they were asked if they peeked and some children confessed while others lied about it and then these were separated into the categories of confessors and liars. Then lie telling children were asked what toy made the final sound and they continued to lie that it was either a guitar, a doll but not the lion. Finally, all the data was looked upon and researchers found that 80% of the children had peeked, however, only the ones with strict parents or strict schooling lied about their peeking. Psychologists even stated that their lies were far more believable and they continued to do so throughout the study. Hence, it was confirmed that strict environments raise lie-telling children.

Ultimately, it comes down to the parent what they want to teach their young ones and how to raise them. While strict parenting enables their children to spew lies like no other, it hinders their ability, to be honest in most situations and be responsible for their consequences. So how would you like your child to grow up?



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