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Fiction Passed as Truth by Parents while Dealing with Children

Update Date: Jan 22, 2013 08:16 AM EST

Almost all parents teach their children to be truthful, however, hardly any lead by example, a recent research indicates.

In a recent study done by Gail Heyman and her colleagues of the University of California - San Diego, and published in the International Journal of psychology, it was found that parents from the U.S. and China often forget their own lesson about not lying while dealing with their children.

Almost 98 percent of parents in China were found lying to their children, while 84 percent parents in the U.S. do the same. Discipline, the importance of it and the measures taken to ensure the presence of it in children is thought to be the cause of higher rates of lying among parents in China than in the U.S.

It was also noticed that parents in the U.S. and China both had no compunction in making their children believe in the existence of fictional characters like the tooth fairy or Santa Claus. They also have been found to tell fibs to promote healthy eating habits and to discourage them from being spoilt.

However, promising to leave the child where they are if they don't follow their parents is a threat found common in both the countries. Though imparting right values and understanding to the children is daunting but important, there are other methods to do so. If the parents are found lying, then the children might find it a little difficult to place their trust in them. This trust or a belief system is extremely important for the mental and emotional growth of the child.

An alternative to lying would be the introduction of small presents when the child does as he/she is asked. Parents might even consider the importance of completing the task at hand before lying to their children.

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