Observe the child during daily routines. Adult approval is important, but so is growing independence.
No elicitation needed.
The child performs acts she thinks the adult will like and then comes to show the adult what she did. The child may deny she did something that the adult will disapprove of (eat another cookie). The child will tell brothers and sisters what not to do.
Children of this age are approval seeking, so they want to make adults happy with their actions. Explain the conflict the child is experiencing between wanting and needing adult approval and wanting to be independent. This often causes the child to do something she wants to do, but knows the adult will not like. They want adult approval so they deny the wrongdoing. They are not lying, as such; rather the child does not want to lose adult approval. Let the child know she will not be punished for telling the truth.
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015
©2015 by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/.