The True Story About Telling the Truth


Your toddler lives in an interesting world where fantasy and reality mix. She enjoys cartoons, pretend play, wicked witches and make-believe whenever her imagination lets loose! Her storytelling often shows her hidden fears. For example, when she says, "Mommy, monster in room", she may be telling you that she's afraid of the dark.


Your toddler can also convince herself of the truth in even the biggest lie to avoid punishment, your disapproval, or to get what she wants. Knowing that it is important to you to tell the truth will make being honest more important to your child.


Read more about lying here

Brain Science for Your Baby

Science says that your toddler's brain is still developing - and it's important to know that at this age, your toddler isn't actively planning to deceive you!  Toddler's brains aren't yet developed enough to always understand the difference between fantasy and reality. Experts in child development explain it like this: lying is "creative coping" in a situation that may be stressful.  So don't punish.  That would only add to your child's stress and all those stress hormones we want to avoid.  Instead, work on understanding where this comes from.  

A Baby Buffer Prescription for Your Baby
  • Explain the difference between lying and telling the truth. Help your toddler understand the difference by saying "I know you want your friend to like you, but telling him that you have 101 Dalmatians living at your house isn't truthful. The truth is that you'd like to have all those dogs. But you have only one dog named Molly. She's a really nice dog, and you like her a lot."

  • Look for honesty. Look for people and events that tell the truth and point their honesty out to your children as a something you admire.   

A baby Buffer Prescription for You  


  • Tell the truth. If you have difficulty not telling lies to others, get help from your physician or tell a trusted friend. Practice changing your own behavior, so you can help teach your child to be honest.








What Your Baby Can Do - Developmental Milestones 


Until he's around 3 or 4 years of age, your child cannot understand, developmentally, the concept of lying, because she doesn't yet understand the idea of facts, themselves. Another reason your toddler sometimes appears to stretch the truth is called "magical thinking" that little ones use at this age.  When a toddler wants something to happen, he may makeup a non-factual story because he actually believes that saying it will make it so. For example, your toddler daughter takes a blanket away from her baby brother, causing him to get upset. She then feels sorry that she did that. So, when you ask why her brother is crying, she lies and says that she didn't take the blanket, because he wishes so much that her "lie" was believable...that she believes it!


Baby Buffer Blog
Rene Jamison, PhD


Beating the cold weather blues!


I've never been a fan of winter and this cold and snow makes me want to snuggle up on the couch and take in a marathon on the USA network. As a mother of a 3 year old boy and 6 year old girl......this is not an option! So, I need to muster up some excitement and creative ideas to break out of this funk! The go to plan at our house for getting rid of the cold weather blues is a living room dance party. As soon as we turn up the music and dance like crazy I am instantly revived and ready to defeat these blues. More importantly, this once drab house is now full of energy with ear to ear smiles on the most important people in my life. I am reminded how much I love playing with my children and how critical these moments are in their development and our relationship. The adrenaline rush is not only from the music, but the flood of emotion I experience seeing the impact this quick change in momentum has on my kids. Our living room dance party now has us ready to think creatively about other activities and excited to spend quality time together. Although I am sure no one would call me "organized" behind my back, I have great results when we schedule our activities and my kids love when they get to help with the planning. Try one of these ideas next time you need to beat those cold weather blues!


Read the rest of Dr. Jamison's blog here 


"Like" us on Facebook! 

 Sign up for Baby Buffer emails