Babies are often described as innocent little miracles. But what really goes on behind those piercing eyes? Research, which is a bit controversial among scientists, confirms many parents’ suspicions: babies are capable of pretending and lying. Acting innocent when doing something forbidden. A face-saving lie.
We are lied to between 10 to 200 times a day. Not only do our kids lie to us, our work-colleagues and friends lie to us. And we lie ourselves. We may be against lying but there are different kinds of deceptions. Truth-bending toddlers who wants to avoid going to bed or blames an imaginary friend may be different from a teenager lying about breaking the law. Deceptions can be pure word play, wishful thinking, or a way to protect a friend.
Expressing our displeasure about lies and fibs is one thing. Every family has rules that they want their kids to respect. Yet, every one of us can explore ideas concerning lies and truth. The inspiration for the infographicbelow comes from topographic maps. Valleys and peaks provide a metaphor for different depths of deceptions. A great way visually to show how deceptions can vary in severity. False flattery is different from concealing the truth about who was bullying someone. Telling your kid that she has done a great job with her homework, might boost her confidence. So this makes you a good parent. While telling our partner/ spouse that he/she has done a great job may lead to conflicts and problems in our relationship. Confusing and tricky.
Make your own map and use it to explore the behaviour of fictional characters. Helping our kids to discuss tricky subjects is a great way to raise healthy kids who are aware of the importance of telling the truth and who can spot a lie.
“A lie has no power whatsoever by its mere utterance; its power emerges when someone else agrees to believe the lie.” Pamela Meyer
Photo: “Lying Little Friends” by imagerymajestic