All but two percent of teenagers in a recent US study admitted lying to their parents. And out of 36 possible topics – including drug use, dating, and their friends – the average teen lied about 12 of them. The research, conducted by Nancy Darling of Oberlin College, Ohio was featured in an article in New York Magazine called Learning to Lie, alongside work by Victoria Talwar of McGill University in Canada. It may not come as a surprise that adolescents lie to their parents. But Darling and Talwar believe they have learned a great deal about why teens lie and their feelings about it. So, for example, while 98 percent admit that they lie, 98 percent also think that lying is morally wrong. Young children are frequent fibbers. And media coverage of the work has been quick to seize on the over-simplified statistics that four-year-olds tell a lie once every two hours and six-year-olds once every hour and a half. Young children most often lie to avoid punishment, but reasons for lying become more complex as they grow up. Lying is a way to increase power, manipulate peers, get attention, and smooth social relationships. If a child is still lying a great deal at age seven, and it has become a successful strategy for handling social situations, then he or she is likely to continue to lie a lot throughout childhood according to Talwar’s research. The article reviews the types of parenting which, according to research, tends to discourage lying.