New Study Indicates Lying Children Have Better Memories

Child development specialists explain that children who fib have better verbal memory and are more creative storytellers.
5:09 | 06/24/15

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Transcript for New Study Indicates Lying Children Have Better Memories
And this morning's hot button kids and lying. If you ask any parent they'll probably tell you every child does it but it turns out there may actually be an up side? An upside and kids who do it well may be smarter than you think. ABC's nick watt has more on this. Reporter: Have you ever lied to daddy? Yes. Reporter: That's my kid. Of course, he has. All kids lie from pinocchio. Oh, look. My nose. Reporter: To Laila littlely on idea modern family." Somebody knocked my bag down and broke my phone. I'll blame everything on him until he learns how to talk. Reporter: Watch this recent hidden camera study and disturbing discovery. The kids and it was one in four who peeked at the quiz answers when the grown-up left the room. Then convincingly lied about it. I thought it might be Jim 'cause there's someone in nye family called Jim. Reporter: Further tests showed they have the best memories, they're smart so we should be proud of our kids if they're good liars? The better's child working memory the better they were at covering up their lies. I tell a few true parts of the story and but then I mix in a few parts that aren't true. Reporter: And 3-year-old Elsa sipped her dad's beer and blamed her mum. You saw her do it but she covered her tracks. Right. Reporter: Or tried to. Watch her. Not a behavior we want to encourage ago parents but it decreases over time. Reporter: Apparently I should want them to be good at it now. I re-created that experiment. What is the boy in space boy called? Okay. Hang/second. Be back in one second. My kids didn't peekty answer and didn't lie. I'm proud of them anyway. What's space boy? Even peek. I love Sebastian at the top. Nick's little guy. Yeah, that's my boy. But 'not lying about that. That 'S exactly right. Yahoo! Parenting experts, Lindsay and Dr. Robyn Silverman. The first question, just like nick and joking should you be teaching them ow to lie and the consequences of it. Well, I mean the thing is with -- what research has shown that one in five interactions that adults have are lies so 20% -- I didn't realize it. No surprise that kids are picking it up. These kids are lying for all different reasons. Some do it to get out of trouble. Others do it because other people might feel bad and they feel bad and still others might do it just because they think it's fun to pull the wool over somebody's eyes and there's different lies. Some are socially acceptable and we say thank goodness you're lying about that sweater grandma gave you and others we wish they would tell the truth if my parents would call it you're telling a story. What should parents do? Well, first you really want your child to establish the fact that honesty is a powerful word that we want to have as a family value. Next we want our adults in our lives to show that they are a great example of truth-telling and make sure that you do not scold a child for telling the truth if you keep scolding them then they're not going to come to you and finally teach them to do a little bit of a gut check if the words that are coming out of your mouth make you feel like a dizzy in the head, hot in the face and pit in your stomach you probably are going down the wrong path. Yeah, exactly. You know the study indicates that the potential upside to lying include a better verbal memory, more creative storytelling. However, there's got to be a way to teach -- Creative storytelling. Without encouraging lying? Right, well, your actions speak louder than words. If they see their parents being honest, maybe they returned a wallet they found, kid also pick up on that. To help foster their own creativity with, you know, plays different games and help, you know, show kids a different way than lieing. If it's not just grandma's sweater as you point out and this starts to go down a road where you're getting concerned what do you do? So when you feel like you cannot trust what your child is saying, that you feel like they're lying all the time, this is a time to go to your doctor and seek some professional advice because we want to make sure that our children know the difference between lying and telling the truth. It's critical. Any final word. You want to have a little positive reinforcement, as well. Talk to your kid, get excited about what they're excited about and don't make them feel their self-worth is tied to a certain thing. If you say you're so smart they may continue to lie about being smart. We know that storytelling. We can do storytelling. Let's give them a context to do it. Make up stories. Let your imagination go wild. Just don't make up a story you did your homework. Exactly. No, no, no the dog ate the homework. Hey, you both, very great advice, appreciate it very much.

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