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"A mother is the best polygraph examiner in the world," says former FBI profiler and interrogation expert Jack Trimarco, cohost of Fake Out, a Court TV game show. Still, if your detection skills need a tune-up, here are Trimarco's top clues for figuring out if your child is being dishonest:
Double is trouble: A lying child may repeat your last statement in a ploy to gain time to think up a believable response.
Facing the facts: Changing facial expressions, or gestures such as nose scratching or brow wiping, often signal dissembling.
Missing a beat: Since kids know it's wrong to fib, they may deliver the whopper in a lowered voice, or change the tone or tempo of their speech.
Talking too much: A less-than-truthful child may feel compelled to fill empty air time with unsolicited information. Unless your kid is the type who reports every detail, rambling is a sure sign he's feeding you bull.
Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal magazine, June 2004.