Do We Teach Our Child To Lie?

Most of us would respond with a loud and indignant NO at this question but do ask yourself if we don’t, albeit quite unknowingly, pass on the lying habit to our children.

Take for instance the fact that we teach our children how to be polite: we will typically tell them that they are not to say that they find the sweater that a well meaning aunt has given them is hideous or that they don’t like the cooking of someone whose hospitality they are enjoying.

We teach them that it is not nice to express our true feelings here; and in fact we are encouraging them to be dishonest[teaching honesty]. In these scenarios we will typically tell the child to politely say thanks for the gift and not say that they find the meal inedible.

Consider that in this way, children do in fact get the message that lying is OK and then such white lies, the seemingly harmless ones, can in fact inure the child to the act of lying.

You and I may think of this as being polite, however it is important to understand the impact that this will typically have on a child who may not be able to distinguish between lying and being polite.

They may just get the message that lying is an expedient ploy to employ even with their parents and the child may then lie in a situation where they think that a lie may actually make their parents feel better about a situation.

So sometimes, if a child is lying, the reason may not be far to seek; it may be closer at hand than you think!

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