Why Would A 4-Year-Old Lie About Being Hit? (Stop Him)

Children can learn to create stories from an early age, it is because they have a powerful imagination. As a result of this imagination, they might start talking about things that never happened to them.

At the age of 4, kids realize that you cannot read their minds, so they make up things that aren’t true at all. Sometimes 4-year-olds lie about being hit by someone. Sometimes they lie but sometimes their imagination is so strong that they think that they are actually going through something. 

In this phase of life, they might get better at telling stories as they can now match their facial expression and tone with what they are talking about.

Why do 4-year-olds lie about being hit?

Why would a 4 year old lie about being hit? Here are the common reasons behind this behavior:

1- To seek attention

The most expected reason for a 4-year-old lying about being hurt is to seek his parents’   attention. He knows that when he lies about being hit by someone, his parents will immediately turn around to him and give him more attention than usual.

2- To test his boundaries or to check your reaction:

The 4-year-old might test his boundaries or check your reaction when he talks about someone hitting him. He might want to see what you do and how much you love him! 

Many kids want their parents to fight with others for them to prove their love. 

3- Habitual story making

Kids of such age become habitual storytellers who come up with things that immediately catch others’ attention. Once they know that people are attracted to their stories, they use their imaginations to make them more interesting by adding lies.

4- Strong Imagination

Some 4-year-olds have powerful and overactive imaginations through which they fantasize about many things in their mind. 

5- He wants to test a character from a movie or cartoon.

Thanks to cartoons and movies, children adapt a lot of stuff that can not be done in real life. Sometimes, the child might lie about being hit because that’s what he imagines. Or he may imagine himself as a movie character who must have been fighting or getting hit by other characters.

6- Learned behavior

As a 4-year-old starts preschool at this age, lying can become a habit after seeing someone lying around him. Not only school, but it can also be an elder at home who causally says lies to avoid any situation.

Sometimes elders do not pay attention and lie in front of kids. For example, if a parent doesn’t want to meet someone and he lies on the phone that he is not well or is hurt or something, which actually isn’t the case; the child will notice. 

Unfortunately, kids copy our behavior and might find lies a tool to escape situations they don’t want to face.

7- To cover himself

Once the child learns that lie can save him, he becomes habitual of it. So when he does something wrong, he lies about being hurt to gain empathy and cover the wrongdoing.

He must have experienced or seen somewhere in the surrounding that lying about being hurt can save someone from the actual situation, so he tries to divert his elders’ minds.

8-  There could be a rare chance of abuse:

God forbid, if a child has gone through the abuse, he may lie to his parents that he has been hit by someone instead of telling the truth. Because abusers mostly threaten the kids not to tell the truth; otherwise, they may face serious consequences. Due to the fear, they just say that someone has hit them and not done something else. 

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How to stop a 4-year-old from lying (especially about being hit)

Here are a few tips for you to fix this problem.

1- Investigate thoroughly:

When your child starts telling a lie about being hit or for any other thing, investigate properly to decide if he is lying or if there is something he wants to tell.

Usually, parents don’t pay attention to complaints about hitting, but it might be possible that kids around your child actually hit him, so don’t always think he is lying.

2- Verbally talk to your child if he lies:

I understand it gets on your nerves when the child continuously lies about things, especially when it comes to hitting. When you notice such behavior of lying in your child, sit and talk to him and ask him why he lies about being hit.

Your child may confess who he is copying or why he lies about being hit. So when he admits, try to make him understand that lying is a bad habit and no one believes him when he gets hurt.

3- Pay attention to the imagination:

Sometimes kids are actually not lying. As I said earlier, their imagination is way too strong. 

When your 4-year-old says someone has hit him, ask who did. If he tells a name of an imaginary friend, a fictional character, or a non-living object, then there is no harm in accepting what they say and paying attention to them. Because your child is not lying, instead, he is imagining. 

You shouldn’t turn down your little one’s imagination, as a strong imagination is a part of healthy brain development in kids. 

4 year old lying and being yelled at

4- Be nice when he tells the truth:

Reinforce the importance of telling the truth in your child’s daily routine. Encourage him to speak transparently without adding anything by himself. Be nice to him if he owns up to any mistake and tells you exactly what happens. 

Say things like, “I am so proud of you for telling me the truth,” “I know my child would never lie to mama,” or “ I am glad you own your mistake.” etc.

5- Get story books and read them at bedtime:

The best way to reinforce any good habit in the child is to get them relevant storybooks. Stories based on truth and lies will help him differentiate right and wrong and what will happen if he lies about being hit or something else.

Bedtime is the most effective time to read such stories as, at that time, children tend to be more relaxed and have listening ears on.

You can tell him the world-famous story of “The Shepherd Boy and the Wolf,” where a boy used to lie about being hurt by a wolf and lost the trust of the villagers. Then, one day when the wolf actually attacked him, no one believed, and he lost all his sheep as no one showed up to help him. 

I have some nice storybook suggestions with incredible stories about lies and lessons.

1- Telling the Truth

Telling the Truth: A book about lying by Carolyn Larsen is a wholesome guide for parents to teach the right thing to their children. It has simple sentences and colorful illustrations, which keep the child’s interest alive while listening to the story. It has a variety of situations that your kids can relate to where they have lied or thought of lying. The common lesson is that lying is wrong.

2- Teach Your Dragon to Stop Lying:

Teach Your Dragon to Stop Lying by Steve Herman is another cute dragon book to teach kids about honesty. Through this story, a 4-year-old can easily understand that lying is wrong for people around him and himself. 

3- Let’s Talk About Needing Attention

Let’s Talk About Needing Attention by Joy berry is a book about attention required by kids. It helps the children, especially pre-schoolers understand what needs attention and that they can not always have the attention they want every time. It also teaches kids to be patient and wait for the elder to respond to their needs.

4- Honesty is my Superpower

Honesty is my Superpower by Alica Ortego is the best pick for your preschooler if you want to teach your child about honesty and fairness. This cute illustrative storybook aims to teach kids about making the right choices.

5- The Berenstain Bears and the Truth

The Berenstain Bears and the Truth by Stan and Jan Berenstain is a story of two bears who played soccer behind their mom and broke her lamp. So they told their mom a series of lies, which put them into bigger trouble. This story reinforces the importance of telling the truth at the start to save yourself from getting into bigger trouble. 

6- Don’t pay attention to him when you’re sure that he is lying:

When you are confirmed that your child is lying or faking stories to seek attention, don’t pay attention to him when he comes to you telling a lie. 

Tell him straight that you know that no one actually hit him. 

7- Discourage lying every time:

As I told you, to encourage telling the truth, always discourage lying too. Whenever the child lies about being hit or something else, correct him and say that lying can be harmful to him as no one will help him when he needs it, instead, everyone will ignore him and tag him as a liar.

8- Model honest behavior: 

As I said, adults lie in front of kids without knowing it may affect the child negatively. You have to model honest behavior in the house no matter what age everybody is. 

Not only kids but elders should also own up to their mistakes and not lie to cover themselves up.

Always become truthful and honest with your child as well. 

9- Do not become too strict.

Mistakes can happen by anyone. Always being too strict will push the child to lie more. When the child accepts his mistake, don’t yell or ask questions. Instead, Praise and appreciate and be nice to him. 

Also, when you catch him lying about anything, screaming and yelling won’t help. Therefore, educating your child about the consequences of lying and reinforcing the benefits of telling the truth is important.

10- Don’t put a tag of a liar on him:

Don’t ever call him a liar or let anyone bully him. If he has a problem lying daily, work on his behavior patiently. I know it’s easy to say than done, but tagging him as a lair or being strict won’t help.

4-year-olds usually adopt weird behavior for a certain period, it is important to handle such patches by teaching them what is right and wrong for them.

11- Assure him that you won’t get angry upon telling you the truth:

Being parents, we sometimes get frustrated with such behavior by our kids. You might have yelled or screamed at him even after telling the truth. 

So I suggest you bring calmness in your attitude and assure your child that you won’t get angry if he tells you the truth. Tell him that whatever happened may be the worst, but tell you the truth.


A 4-year-old may lie about being hit because of strong imagination or getting attention. If it comes out of imagination, you shouldn’t turn him down, but if he is lying to seek attention or just because of habit, you should take action. Become strict and tell him the consequences of lying. Read him stories about lying and getting attention. I’ve listed a few good ones above.

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