Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Truth Will Set You Free

I'm still looking at some of the research cited in Nurture Shock - a great book about research on best practices with kids, whether they are in your house or your classroom. Today I want to look at some of the research about lying - the experiments included in this chapter were really interesting.

*When kids are old enough to really understand the difference between a lie and the truth, they are also old enough to be more skilled at lying. And if it works, they stick with it.

*The story of George Washington and his father's response to George's admission of cutting down the cherry tree is more effective as a deterrent for lying than The Boy Who Cried Wolf - whether George is part of the story or not (if it is told with a non-famous person). Children know lying will get them punished. The idea that they might not get punished, and that the parent will be happier with the truth makes a difference in their behavior.

*Kids lie because they want to make the adult happy. They think the lie is telling the parent what he/she wants to hear and that would be a good thing. What matters most to kids is getting back to good-standing with the parent/authority figure.

Do your kids lie? Mine does. And I know I did when I was his age. I always got the boy-who-cried-wolf treatment when I got caught. Do you think George would work better for your kids?

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