The Real Reasons Kids with ADHD Lie—and Ways to Help Them Stop

Lying can be a habit for some kids with ADHD. Learn why—and how to help them quit.

ADHD and lying

Most kids lie or avoid telling the truth on occasion. But if your child has Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), you might find yourself often asking him, “Why are you lying again?” If that’s the case, you’re not alone. Not all kids with ADHD tell frequent lies. In fact, some are impulsively honest, which can create its own problems. But for those who do lie, it can quickly become a habit. When they do consistently lie, it’s usually not about big things like stealing or cheating. (Although they may occasionally do that too, just like other kids.) Instead, they may lie about everyday things like chores and work. “This type of lying isn’t about defiance. It’s about having trouble coping with challenges,” says Ellen Braaten, PhD, director of the Learning and Emotional Assessment Program at Massachusetts General Hospital and advisor on learning and attention issues for Understood.org. Here’s what you need to know about ADHD in children and frequent lying.

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