Kids making things up is a good thing

Kids making things up is a good thing

Little kids are brilliant storytellers. They might say, "John fell into nursery today and an ambulance came with sirens and lights and took him."

It will not take much investigation to discover overlapping stories like the precedent that often prove incorrect as many children have fertile imaginations and are very creative at making things up. But how much should parents allow this and when should something be said?

Parents should keep up with the story first and show interest in it, says Dana Monte, a counselor for child guidance in Germany. "They will know a lot about what is going on in the minds of their children and how they see the world," she says.

There is no cause for concern when a child´s stories turn out not to be entirely realistic, according to Monte, who says they are a sign of a child´s healthy development because children learn empathy through role-playing games and imaginary stories.

And she points out that parents should keep in mind that it takes not only imagination and intelligence to create stories, but also a little language skill.

Monte knows from her counseling experience that many parents freak out if they think their son is a good liar. However, she believes that bullying a child is often counterproductive, explaining that it can lead to more untrue things out of fear of punishment.

Even if parents aren´t sure whether or not the story really happened, Monte says the child should be given a chance to benefit from the doubt. When children are very young, even fairy tale objects seem real to them. However, parents can ask the child when there is something strange in a story.

In general, children under three years of age, and sometimes even four years of age, cannot always distinguish between fact and fiction. They cannot understand the difference between the two until the age of five and can then lie on purpose to get something they want.