Just like healthy eating and good manners, lying begins at home. According to a story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, a new study suggests parents lie all of the time. Hey, at least we’re consistent.
Out of 127 parents, the “vast majority” says they lie to their kids, yet emphasize the importance of honesty. Although parents might have many different reasons for lying to their kids, the study focused on two motivations: to influence their behavior and to make the child feel better about something. We’re not talking about promoting fantasies like the existence of Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy. These are lies we tell our kids to make them act how we want. Like telling them they need to eat vegetables or a monster will grab them. I personally hate it when parents do stuff like that. It seems rather mean to scare a child into eating a carrot.
Not only are we liars, but we are also total hypocrites. Here’s why:
“At the same time that many parents tell lies to their children, they also try to drive home the message that lying is wrong. In fact, the study found, parents who were the most punitive about lying also were more likely to lie to their children.”
How much do we lie on a day-to-day basis? Is the truth really that difficult to tell? Are we rationalizing the act of lying to make our lives easier or to make the reality of our child’s world seem less scary? If a relative dies, is it really wrong to tell your child that person is now a star in heaven? What do you think?