Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Lying to our sons

There are the lies that I intentionally tell my son: The tooth fairy, Santa, that dinosaurs come alive at night. And then there are the lies that I don't mean to tell my son, like that I will be home from work on time.

But it turns out that because I have a son, I am more inclined to lie to him about other things, too. 

Researchers who were trying to determine the origins of lying in children set up a few experiments where parents and children could win prizes. They discovered that parents would lie more often to help their sons win prizes.

With multiple studies showing that men lie more often than women, this is disturbing news. Why are parents lying more often to their sons?

We want our children to be honest, and in order for that to happen, we have to model honest behavior for them. Here are some ways to help put our children on the right path:
  • Don't set them up to fail. Don't want your child to lie to you about completing something on time? Make sure that your child has the time to complete all their homework/chores and still have free time. 
  • Remove the meaningless phrases. "Just a minute" (which I say to my son all the time) should be replaced with "I'll be ready after I finish this chapter in my book." I need to give him a more realistic expectation.
  • Show them honest behaviors. Return extra change you were mistakenly given in a store. Don't lie about their ages at restaurants. Don't tell them you are "fine" when you are frustrated by something.
What do you do to help your children be more honest? Tell me in the comments.

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