Monday, October 19, 2009

Something my kids are REALLY bad at

and I am grateful . . . they stink at lying. The are awful and so transparent - and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Honestly they don't try it very often and it never lasts very long. They know the punishment for whatever infraction will be worse if they lied about it.

They also don't see any purpose in lying to others - like telling friends some kind of exaggerated tale. It is a particular pet peeve of mine and I have been open with them in explaining why I hate it.

Actually, most kids are bad liars. Most kids also don't know how to censor what comes out of their mouth. Most parents know this and so won't say anything in front of a child that they don't want repeated. Little Nancy will tell the church that you think the choir director's wife is a stupid cow, or that mommy and daddy "grown-up wrestle" or any number of things that you DON'T want told.

Of course most parents also don't try to convince their children to lie to authority figures and tv news crews. Most parents don't try to create a media firestorm that an adult would struggle with keeping the story straight.

What kind of parent would want to teach their child to lie?


  1. I'm not a parent, but it seems to me the way children learn to lie is by example. They see mom or dad do it, and if they're lucky, they don't see the consequences of it and so they learn that it's okay to lie. They don't see that sometimes when you lie, you get caught and there is a price to pay. It becomes just as commonplace as learning not to use the Lord's name in vain or what to say at evening meal when it comes time to bless it, which are also learned by example.

  2. I somewhat agree. I think kids see it and see the bad consequences but don't know of any other way to deal. Kindof like the kids growing up in an abusive house often become abusive too.

    There is also, I think, inborn nature to lie. The 2 or 3 year old kid who has chocolate all over his face but denies eating any cake is almost universal. The temptation is to laugh at this, video it, whatever but this rewards the child for the lie. So many of the bad habits are started early on because they are really pretty cute at that age and it seems harmless.

    I also think it is a bad idea to let them know how you figured out the lie ("honey, you have chocolate all over your face") because that is teaching them how to lie better - albeit inadvertently. I always just said "I am smarter than I look" or I am not as dumb as you think."

    What I was obliquely referring to was the whole "balloon boy" incident. Those parents were really pretty stupid to think that small children could keep up the lie for long.