Friday, 12 December 2014

Pants on Fire!

What do you do when your children tell a fib?

Let's face it, they all do. And it's not always malicious. They're not always covering up for themselves. In fact there's a fine line between childhood fantasy/a healthy imagination and a propensity for porkies.

So what should we do about it? After all, we want our children to grow up as responsible, truth-telling individuals, don't we?

Well a recent study by MacGill University at least tells us what we shouldn't be doing. Don't tell Mary off for her mendacity; don't punish Pete for his perfidy! Because punishing kids for lying makes them lie more. Instead, gently persuade the little Pinnochios that telling the truth really is the best way.

But how?

Kant (Immanuel that is, German philosopher) knew how. He valued truth-telling so highly he argued that we should never, ever tell a lie. Even one, little, teensy, weeny, fib. Because once you did, you could from that moment never be certain of anything again. Ah but, what if...

Knock, knock, open up it's the Gestapo. 

Hello Officer, how many I help you?

Are you hiding any Jews in your attic?

Why yes, of course I am you evil NAZI thug, step right thus way...

See? Telling the truth all the time isn't always going to be easy. In fact, it can be downright difficult. Especially at this time of year. And not just for children.

So perhaps we parents should remember, next time we catch the kids out, that we don't always set the best example, do we?

Oh no, no, no!

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