Three-year-olds see the world in black-and-white terms….
They have been told that they should be good. They want to believe that they are good…. Therefore, they weren’t the ones who poured jam all over the sleeping cocker spaniel. Denying their culpability is neither malicious nor sneaky; it just reflects the unshaded terms in which preschoolers view the world.
ATTRIBUTION: Lawrence Kutner (20th century), U.S. child psychologist and author. Parent and Child, ch. 7 (1991).