Monday, February 18, 2008

Why do kids lie?

Is it Monday already? Let me start off with a joke. An oldie but goodie (I first heard this from my Dad):

What do George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King Jr. all have in common?




They were all born on holidays.

Anyway, I've been enjoying my three-day weekend and so once again was caught unprepared for my day to post, so I'll leave you with this fascinating article that is the cover story in New York Magazine. (I originally saw it via Educating Alice.) It's all about why kids lie, when they first start lying, and what it all means. One tidbit I found fascinating is that kids actually have to be pretty smart to lie: "A child who is going to lie must recognize the truth, intellectually conceive of an alternate reality, and be able to convincingly sell that new reality to someone else." These more advanced kids start lying at age 2 or 3. So...if you catch your kid lying at that young of an age, take consolation in the fact that he or she is really smart.

The article asks if kids are copying adults when they lie--they observe adults telling white lies all the time, and they're also probably confused when adults coach them to lie--for example, when they're told to say they like a gift they don't really like. And, of course, they lie to escape punishment.

I also loved the description of the "Peeking Game" experiment.

Anyway, just read the article, I'm not doing it justice. But a warning--the photographs that accompany the article are pretty creepy.

And Congratulations to the winners of the 2007 Cybils!

1 comment:

laurasalas said...

lol--As the mom of a liar, I had to click through to this article. And what do you know--she is in all advanced classes. What a consolation. Ha!

And are any of those kids named Damien?