Most parents have caught there kids in little white lies here and there, and while it may be annoying, new research suggests it may not necessarily be a bad thing.
The study, published in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology found that lying may actually be an exercise in verbal memory because kids who lie need to keep track of more information to get their facts straight and cover up.
Researchers at the University of Sheffield in the U.K. looked at 6- to 7-year-olds for the study, giving them a trivia quiz, which consisted of three questions printed on index cards, and instructing them not to look at the answers on the back of the cards. Study authors then watched the children via a hidden camera when they left the room to identify the ones who peeked at the answers. Then they questioned the children about the answers on the cards.
The results concluded that children who were good at lying performed better in verbal working memory tests than their counterparts.
“Kids who possessed better memories and could keep track of lots of information were able to successfully make and maintain a cover story for their lie,” the researchers said in a press release.
The bottom line is: They all do it. Heck, even adults lie sometimes. And within reason, it is quite natural for children to lie and test boundaries. Some experts believe it’s also an early form of problem solving. It’s our job to make sure that we teach them more constructive ways to resolve their issues and the importance of honesty.
But the next time you find yourself giving your kid the “it’s wrong to lie” speech, you can take comfort in the fact that if your little one is good at it – he or she is also developing good thinking and memory skills.