Kids Who Are Great Liars Also Have These Enviable Life Skills

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If you really sit down and think about it, you can find the silver lining in anything. And nothing is more true than finding the upside in parenting.

Most parents teach their children to always be honest, help round them into good people, and instill in them moral values they will carry through life. No wonder parents get so angry when kids lie — not only because it's the wrong thing to do, but it makes parents' lives more difficult.

Children usually lie in order to cover up a mistake or accident, to get something they want, or when they simply want attention. But many people think that this is just a sign of having a big imagination.

Surprisingly, science gives a good, concrete silver lining that's true: kids who lie have better memory skills.

RELATED: How To Teach Your Kids About Taking Responsibility For Their Life & Actions

Research from University of Sheffield in England found that little liars have great memory skills, especially with words. And that must come in handy since you need to remember a lot of things if you plan to lie often.

"While parents are usually not too proud when their kids lie, they can at least be pleased to discover that when their children are lying well, it means their children are becoming better at thinking and have good memory skills," said developmental psychologist Dr. Elena Hoicka.

"We already know that adults lie in approximately a fifth of their social exchanges lasting 10 or more minutes, so it's interesting to know why some children are able to tell more [lies] than others," she continued.

For the experiment, researchers took 114 children between the ages six and seven, and gave them a quiz.

First, the kids were asked what noise a dog makes, and what color are bananas. Then, the kids were asked if they knew the name of a fake cartoon character.

Researchers wrote the answer on the back of a card in green ink alongside a picture of a monkey, told the kids not to look at it, and left each individual child alone in a room with the card turned upright — all while a hidden camera filmed them.

RELATED: How To Tell If Someone Is Lying To You

Scientists knew which kids were lying based on who said they got the answer right and claimed they weren't cheating. They then asked the kids entrapment questions, and told them to guess what the picture showed and what color the ink was written in.

The children who pretended they didn't know or guessed wrong on purpose were deemed good liars, while children who fell for the entrapment questions were deemed bad liars.

Researchers then gave the children memory tests and found that the best liars have a great memory when it comes to words, but not pictures.

The researchers came to this conclusion based on lying including memorizing verbal information.

This is great news for parents who worry that their kids will become pathological liars and spend their lives avoiding taking responsibility.

And while it's normal for parents to agonize over who their children will grow up to be, it should come as a relief; at least you don't have to be too worried when you catch your little one in a lie.

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Of course, that's not to say that parents shouldn't have some caution in accepting lies from their children.

It's important for parents to teach their children that lying is wrong, especially when used to avoid getting into trouble or not wanting to do something.

That means setting an example by telling the truth openly in your home, discussing with them the difference between the truth and a lie, providing rewards for being honest, and having consequences for lying.

Your great-aunt's cheesecake, though? That's completely fine to lie about.

RELATED: 5 Punishments To Guarantee Your Kids Never Lie To You Ever Again

Nicole Weaver is a senior writer for Showbiz Cheat Sheet whose work has been featured in New York Magazine, Teen Vogue, and more.

Editor's Note: This article was originally posted in June 2015 and was updated with the latest information.