35 months old
Don’t freak out if you catch your child lying -- he’s not destined for a life of crime. A child’s first lie is actually a significant developmental milestone. To lie, a child needs good verbal skills, plus enough imagination to be able to invent an alternate reality. He probably understands that telling the truth would disappoint someone -- which shows that he understands expectations and emotions. So instead of punishing your child for lying, try gently confronting him with the truth. (“I see cookie crumbs on your face,” for instance.) Talk briefly about the importance of telling the truth, but don’t lecture him.