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At what age do kids know the difference between truth and lies?

Make your decisions based on what you know to be the truth of your child’s behavior, not what he “admits” to. If he protests that “it’s not true,” you can say, “Well, I know you wish it wasn’t true, but it was, so here’s the consequence.” Or one I used tonight, when my daughter said she already washed her hands, but I knew she hadn’t: “I know you want to be done washing your hands, but I didn’t see the scrubbing. Let’s try it again, please.” Don’t make him feel like a “liar” or a criminal for telling stories, but let him know that you as his parent do know the truth -- and will work on helping him understand what that means.//The most important issue here is to help your child think through tough situations, to help him make better decisions next time. Ask him about what happened, in a curious way, without getting upset. “You got mad at the other kid and ripped his paper? How come? What happened next? Maybe next time, try and ask him to stop touching your paper, so you won’t feel like you have to rip his picture.”

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.