10 Physical Signs a Child is Lying to You
April 4, 2012 | in Background Check
There’s an old joke about lawyers and politicians that asks the question “How can you tell when they’re lying?” The answer, of course, is “When their lips are moving.” Hopefully this sentiment isn’t an adequate litmus test for your child, although you can probably acknowledge that he or she is prone to fibbing every now and then. So what is a good indication of when a child is lying? Here’s a list of ten signs to look for if you think your little one isn’t being straight with you:
- Blushing – A child who is fibbing is apt to get a little flush in the cheeks. The stress of lying can raise blood pressure to the point of giving a child that rosy glow. This can be a tip-off to some tale telling.
- Pale Face – Yes, Kimosabe, just like blushing this too can be a giveaway that your young squaw is fibbing. Some bodies react oppositely to lying with a drop in blood pressure instead of an increase. So if your little angel suddenly takes on an alabaster tone when she speaks, she may be getting a little devilish with you.
- Facial Expression – Kids haven’t developed the necessary discipline or the ability to sell themselves that is required to keep a poker face. They will often give themselves away with a change in expression of some kind – maybe a frown or perhaps a very pensive look, for instance, that doesn’t match their statement.
- Eye Contact – A very common indicator of lying is diverting one’s eyes. If your child looks away while he’s sharing his story, it’s very possible that he’s lying. This may be done either out of shame, or out of “searching” for his answer, and you might want to be wary if your child’s gaze is directed elsewhere.
- High-Pitched Voice – Nerves can cause the vocal cords to tighten, which has the effect or raising one’s voice pitch. This could suggest that your little one is having difficulty telling a whopper.
- Covering the Mouth – Another involuntary physical sign that could indicate lying is if your child covers their mouth when they respond to a question. In conjunction with other indicators especially, your child may be in a sense covering up an untruth.
- Obstructions – An alternative to the averted glance or the covered mouth is for the child to place an obstruction between himself and you, like a cereal box or a toy, in order to hide from you while telling a fib.
- Face Touching – This can sometimes be a subconscious nervous reaction by a child that is being untruthful. She may touch her mouth or eyes, scratch her nose, even fuss with her hair. Such preoccupations as these often accompany a search for a response when the child is asked a question she’d rather not answer truthfully.
- Fidgeting – Of course, kids tend to be restless naturally, so it may not mean anything most of the time. However, if the subject seems to make your child noticeably uncomfortable – particularly if a change in subject brings the fidgeting to a stop – this could be a sign of lying.
- Head Down – If your child holds his head down when talking and mutters his responses to questioning then he may be hiding something from you. A head held down is sometimes an indication of shame. You’ll have to probe further to find out whether it’s a fib, or just shyness.
Taken individually, the above indicators may or may not provide a reliable gauge, since there are many other possibilities for kids to look or behave in a certain way. In combination, and in cases where such behavior hasn’t proven to be the child’s normal manner, they could suggest the child is not telling the truth. It’s up to the parent to recognize deviations from their child’s normal mannerisms in order to spot the anomalies.← 10 Worst Crimes a Prospective Nanny Might Hide | 10 Things About Their Histories Nannies Should Tell Upfront →
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