Based on all the explanations by these so called researchers and experts, I realized that my daughter, when trying to lie is actually being intelligent and smart. Her cognitive skills are getting better and her brain is achieving new milestones ( whatever that means)!! Never thought lying could mean so much. Having said that I would also like to stress upon the fact that I do not like to lie or lied to. I expect total and complete honesty but her lies were making me feel good about the fact that she is getting smarter 🙂
Oliver Wendell, a famous Poet, author, physician, lecturer and one of the best writers of 19th century once wrote,
“Pretty much all the honest truth telling in the world is done by children.”
And I always believed that by this quote he meant our children. Children with down syndrome or other special needs because only they have a heart so pure and love so unconditional that they just can’t lie. Or I thought so!!
Last week after coming back from school, I asked Aarshia to remove the shoes and wash her hands (the routine) which she always adheres to. Even though my Son who is “typical” would cringe and make excuses to delay the inevitable, she would just follow the whole removing shoes, changing clothes, washing hands cycle without much pushing and I always considered myself lucky that she was not going to get corrupted by the wise ways of others, including my son.
But I guess God was hearing about this small privilege and was just about to throw me off my make believe world…so, she went to the basin, wet her hands came back and told me that she had cleaned them. I couldn’t believe my eyes or ears. This was the first time ever. How could she? I asked her again if she had washed her hands with soap. And she said “yes” really!! What happened to my angel who never lied? The humanity is finally coming to an end (sorry for being overly dramatic but I kind of felt it for a second!!). I mean she is the child who would come out in a hide and seek game if somebody asks her where is she. She can’t possibly lie.
But then a strange thing happened, in spite of me all shocked and surprised I smiled. I felt happiness and a tiny ray of relief in my heart. I can’t say why but it felt good to see her finding ways to survive in this world or finally know that she can actually lie, not that I was proud of it. So as always I started my research ( which I am sure you all know how much I love) to find more about lying and what it means for our children or for any child, and here is what I found …
1. For starters Lying is considered a sign of intelligence and cognitive skill, because it takes some aptitude to recognize the way things are and then create and present an alternative to that reality. (This seems such a good point with all the right words.)
2. In a study published by the Journal Developmental Psychology, in an article co-authored by University of Toronto researcher Kang Lee, it was found that “lie-telling appeared to be linked to brain development.”
3. Lying is related to intelligence,” explains Dr. Victoria Talwar, an assistant professor at Montreal’s McGill University and a leading expert on children’s lying behavior.
She further states that lying demands both advanced cognitive development and social skills that honesty simply doesn’t require. “It’s a developmental milestone,” Talwar concludes.
The next day when I found three small bottles of her favorite pro bio-tic drink missing (she is only allowed one a day), I asked her if she had seen them or had had them? She obliged me again with her innocent lie while trying to hide the bottles in her lap. I found it extremely funny. She just didn’t know how to lie but was trying her best ( her lap is like the smallest place in this world)… so I sat near her and asked her to show whatever she is hiding? She started laughing and you know what I did? I laughed too, kissed her and tickled her so badly that she gave all those bottles (of course empty) to me.
I don’t know, what lies ahead and I do not want to make this a habit but as of now I am enjoying these harmless sweet lies. Catching her, fake scolding her and cuddling her.
Does your child lie too? Please share an incident when you found about his/her innocent lying and what did you do about it?
Aarshia and mama