When I read Dr. Sears's The Discipline Book, I was forced to examine some of my expectations of when The Boy would develop certain levels of cognitive awareness and thinking. While I never expected him, at two, to know the difference between a lie and the truth, I was a bit shocked to find out that most children do not begin to develop this sense until around age seven. On page 234 of the book, Dr. Sears' writes:
Most children don't begin to understand truth and falsehood until the age of seven-- the age of reason. By eight or nine most children have, or should have, a sense of morality. They feel wrong when they don't tell the truth and right when they do. They understand what "lying means and can feel "it's right to tell the truth."Of course, it is not always as simple as the summary above. Dr. Sears wrote considerably more.
The ability of a child to differentiate between truth and fantasy and untruth can be a positive and used in teaching moments. Dulche de leche linked to a great piece of writing this week on using words as magic. I am definitely going to be adding some of the techniques to my arsinal! Check it out!