Learning to Lie
Phillip “Po” Bronson
Bronson explains in this story how children start to lie at a very early age. He believes lying is related to intelligence and that lying is both normal and abnormal behavior. Bronson’s research showed that the earlier a child starts lying, the more intelligent they are and will become. Even though 98% of children believed that lying was morally wrong, they were the ones who were lying the most.
Bronson’s research also showed that children learn from their parents. They see and hear what their parents do or say and think it’s okay to lie. He explained that parents do things and don’t realize it. An example Bronson gave was the parent telling a telemarketer that they were just a guest in their own house. He explained how parents don’t tell their children to lie, but their children see them do it. He said parents also encourage their children to tell “white lies.” One example of this is when a child is given a gift from someone that they don’t particularly like; they are encouraged to say that they like it. He believes this makes the child think that it’s okay to lie. When a child tells a “white lie” often parents are proud because to them, their child is being polite and the parents don’t see it as them telling a lie. He believes parents often put their children in positions to lie and test their honesty without realizing it, therefore, when children are encouraged to tell so many white lies, they get comfortable with it. As a result, children will learn that honesty can create conflict, and being dishonest is an easy solution to avoiding conflict.
Bronson also stated that children are taught not to tattle. So if a child goes to their parents to tell the truth about someone, it is tattling. He believes that a tattler can be one of the worst things a child is called on the playground. Because a child gets reprimanded for being a
tattler, they learns to keep their mouth shut. Bronson believes this is...