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How to be a Parent by Infinite Ideas

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23. Nursery crimes

Discovering one of your children has an appetite for nicking things can panic parents. Caught stealing sweets and pleading innocence? How can you avert your artful dodger from a life of crime?

We’d be lying if we didn’t tell you that all children lie. But why do pre-teens exaggerate, tell tall tales or fib? Kristen, who is three, doesn’t always know the difference between fact and fantasy.

Like many children her age, her tall tales give parents a glimpse of her wishes and imagination. Sometimes older kids lie because they want you to think they’ve been good, or done the right thing. This might be to get a reward or avoid a sanction. Four-year-old Charlie knows he was wrong to eat his sister’s lollipop, but doesn’t understand ...

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