When Kids Lie!
We all subscribe to the idea that we want to teach our
children to be truthful but how do we teach them to know the difference between the truth
and a lie?
Most children are very literal in their thinking. They know the difference between things
that are real and those that are unreal real. They test the truth by its reality. For
instance , you may get an unwanted sales call and say, "Tell them Im not
here." Is this a lie? One test of a lie is whether the person asking has a right to
the information. A stranger calling on the phone does not have a right to know whether you
are home or not. I personally would not call this a lie. It is protecting your privacy,
and you have a right to do this. Children must be taught that they have no obligation to
give real answers to people who have no right to the information. If a stranger asks them
where they live, they do not have to give a real answer. If a bully asks them how much
money they have in their pocket, they do not have to give a real answer. "I
dont have any." is a perfectly fine answer because the bully did not have a
right to the answer in the first place. There are some people who do have a right to
answers. They would include parents, teachers, ministers, police and your lawyer.. Telling
these people anything but the real facts can be a big mistake.
When dealing with people who have a right to ask questions, a lie is defined by the intent
to deceive. That means that nothing pertinent may be withheld. When a married person tells
their spouse that the are going to the store, it doesnt matter whether they go to
the store or not if they also drop by to visit someone their mate doesnt approve of
. The intent to deceive is what makes the lie. If your child says I went to my Sunday
School class but leaves out that He stayed for only five minutes and then went outside to
play, the left out part is the lie. If you sit and talk to your child about these ideas,
most children over four will understand them. Reality is not the test of a lie. Intent is
the test of a lie.