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Do I need to believe your child?

Whether they invent fables or with a stubborn look deny the obvious, all the children need to say a lie from time to time. How to respond to adults? Without perceiving their words literally, to learn to listen-really.

“When I was 11, I got to Artek. There were people around who did not know anything about me, and I could tell anything about myself. Not that I then lied about everything-no, but I exaggerated something. He made a dad from the captain a colonel, called two rooms in the hostel a three -room apartment. I invented all new details and could not stop “.

Andrei is now 47 years old, but he recalls this story as if everything happened yesterday. “I embellished the life of my family, and this helped me (albeit for a while) to cease to be ashamed of it, to feel more confident”.

It seems that the lie has its own purpose: it often meets the psychological needs of the child. Interpreting the world, children learn to understand its patterns and nuances. Changing reality, they unconsciously protect themselves from conflicts and disturbing situations, experience them easier, become calmer and happier.

Real illusions

Children’s psychologists and psychotherapists are unanimous in the fact that the inventions of young children cannot be called a lie. “You can talk about lies only when a child is able to distinguish between reality and his fantasies,” explains the child psychotherapist and psychiatrist Anatoly North. -And this ability is formed by approximately six to seven years, to the age when the zones of the cerebral cortex responsible for awareness of the boundaries between imaginary and reality ripen.

Children’s psychoanalyst Natalya Bogdanova clarifies: “For the first

time, children feel the difference between their fantasies and reality from the age of three to six years-at the time when their“ Super-I ”begins to form. The child learns to look at himself from the side, compare his actions with the actions of other people, feel shame and guilt and analyze their causes. “. In the “Super-I” psychoanalysis, one of the three components of the personality structure along with the “I” and “It”. “Super-I” plays the role of our internal censor and “is responsible” for moral consciousness (conscience), self-observation and the formation of ideals.

In the meantime, the child lives in the world of games and inventions, the laws of reality are not yet powerful over him. 5-year-old Seryozha is sure that he lives on a magical island with Peter Pan, Batman and Spider-Man, and 4-year-old Anyuta loves, having climbed onto the table, to prove to the whole family: “I am the biggest! I’m not standing on the table, I stand on my feet!”And they do not lie, they really believe and they have grown up” in truth “.

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