Training Children to Lie

stealingAt most buffet restaurants, kids up to a certain age get discounted prices. The other day, we went to one of these places. While the cashier was ringing up our bill, she turned and asked my son how old he was. He accurately told her, “14.” She looked at me and made the statement, “I train my kids to lie about their age.”

Two things bothered me about this. First, was that in other words, the employee was practically telling me to have my son lie at her place of employment. What kind of employee wants to cheat their company out of profits? Furthermore, in doing so, she was risking losing her job. I imagine that if a manager would have heard that statement, she may have been out looking for another job today.

The second reason is obvious, or should be. Why would someone want to train their kids to lie? Okay, I will admit that it would be nice if my son still qualified for discounted meal prices at restaurants. When he became too old for them, I was disappointed at the higher expense of dining out. Regardless, the thought of lying about his age never crossed my mind. It definitely didn’t cross my mind to have my son lie about it.

I love the honesty of children. You can’t find anyone as honest as a child. They will be the first to tell you exactly what you don’t want to hear. Are you wondering if your weight gain is noticeable? Ask a child. Can people see that zit on your nose? In the presence of a child, you’ll get the answer to your question within 5 minutes.

My son is very honest, unless he thinks he’s going to get in trouble. One day, while standing in a group of people, he looked over at me with a sideways expression and said, “Mom, your hair is sticking out everywhere.” As he began to point at each spot he says, “Right here and right here…and right here.” Louder and louder he got, until everyone was looking over at me. Thanks son. That’s great. Now stop.

Although he has a habit of being honest at the wrong times and loudly, I do appreciate his honesty. The one thing I don’t want, is for him to lie and I’m definitely not going to train him to do so.

In regard to the restaurant, if I have to lie to get a discount on my son’s meal because I can’t pay full price, then I shouldn’t be dining out to begin with. I should be cooking at home.

We get so angry and hurt when our kids lie to us. As parents, we expect and need our children to respect us. This includes them being honest and trustworthy. The most powerful thing I ever heard my mother say to me was, “I don’t trust you anymore.” To lose my mother’s trust, even temporarily, was an awful feeling. A feeling I have never forgotten.

Because of that, I can’t comprehend how we as parents would be the ones to purposely teach our children to lie. Isn’t that the one thing we don’t want them to do?

It may seem harmless at first. However, once we teach them to lie about their age, what’s to stop them from lying about anything else? At that point, they’ve been taught and believe that lying is okay. It’s not their fault. They’re just practicing what they’ve been taught.

These kids that we’re raising are going to be the next doctors, police officers, politicians and leaders. Don’t we want them to be honest people?

Don’t we want the next generation of leaders to be better than this one?


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21 Responses to Training Children to Lie

  1. Doobster418 says:

    Yes, we want our kids to be honest people. You know, just like today’s cops, politicians, and leaders. 🙂


  2. Great post and honesty is something that is lacking everywhere we look. I love this attitude do as I say not as I do epidemic. And we wonder why the world has gone astray. I for one stand behind you begging for a more honest world. Especially from the people that lead our country. Everything trickles down from the top. What example has the top been setting? I shudder to think about it.


    • mewhoami says:

      You’re right. It does trickle down. We see that in government all the way down to families. People follow their leaders. If the leaders are doing wrong, their followers will do the same. One can only hope that if we teach children to have morals and values now, that when they’re adults that they will also teach those things to their children. Then as time goes by, the world will get better little by little. Maybe it’s too high of a hope, but it’s a hope nonetheless.


  3. Bravo! This reminds me of the commercial where the dad bursts in to his son’s room demanding to know where he learned to smoke pot, because he had found his son’s ‘stash’ and the kid says “you, I learned it from watching you!”

    What we teach them they absorb. Great post!!!


  4. April says:

    I wish there were more than one politician’s parents who taught their children about honesty. You sound like such a wonderful mom.


  5. Absolutely! If we don’t want our kids to lie about the big things, we shouldn’t ever ask, expect or train them to lie about the little things. Great post!


  6. Glynis Jolly says:

    What was wrong with that lady? It’s because of the lies that are told on a daily basis that things are in a general mess. She has ‘issues’ to address.


  7. Well said.

    I can’t believe the cashier actually said that. It’s like she thought she was teaching you a valuable lesson. Sad.


    • mewhoami says:

      Yes, exactly. It’s as if I was supposed to learn from her ‘great wisdom’. I feel for her children and for her, because she’s going to pay for these lessons when her kids get older.


  8. Wow. So, not only dishonesty as a crappy parenting idea: but actually hurting the restaurant she works for by encouraging people to lie to pay less, and if there are servers to be tipped she is hurting them too as the total percentage will be lower. I’d actually call the restaurant and let them know they employ someone dishonest who is costing them and their employees money!


    • mewhoami says:

      I never thought to call the restaurant. That would have been a good idea. Too bad I didn’t get here name. I don’t even remember what she looks like. I was just blown away that she told me that, her being an employee and all.


      • You can always explain that you didn’t get her details due to shock, but she was working this night at this time on this day…


        • mewhoami says:

          That’s true, I should. I don’t know. I might have mercy on her this time. Maybe the scowling looks of the people around us when she said it, was enough to get her to realize that what she was doing was wrong. At the very least, not to do it at work anymore.


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