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When should you get help for a child who's a habitual liar?

Answered by Harold S. Koplewicz, MD

Q When should you get help for a child who's a habitual liar?

Children lie for many reasons. Sometimes they do it to avoid consequences. Sometimes they do it when feeling inadequate, insecure, or anxious. Sometimes they are simply copying a peer’s or an adult’s bad behavior. Lying, however, is a symptom, not a diagnosis. If a child is habitually lying and then experiencing distress or dysfunction, it is time to seek professional help and a psychiatric evaluation.