What would you say if your child came home and told you a story about being bullied? Would you believe them? Apparently this dad didn’t and decided to teach his son a lesson about lying, by well, lying.
In this video a child is riding in the car with his dad and apparently tells his dad about a boy at school who is bullying him. The father responds strongly with statements like:
“I’m going to go fight them . . . I’m going to go beat them up. I know where they live.”
The boy apparently frightened admits he made it up, thinking he is playing a prank. But the father continues with statements about beating him up, the father up ad the grandfather up. He’s going to get a gun and go to their house because they may have guns and even about getting an uncle’s bow and arrow. The son continues to protest saying he made it all up and even comes to tears. Dad says,
“When I knock him out, I’m gonna punch him really hard in the face and he’s gonna fall on the floor. And when he falls on the floor, I need you to kick him in the head,” the dad says. “Alright? We’re gonna teach this kid a lesson!”
With tears flowing, the child once again adamantly admits that he was not telling the truth, “I lied about the whole thing” and doesn’t want to be a bad guy.
The father ends the discussion with, “You see what happens when you lie? You cry,” he says. “Don’t lie again.”
Expert advice on how to teach your child not to lie
Experts may disagree with the effectiveness of this parenting technique. It could be argued that the son thought he was pulling a “prank” those this one could have ended with very serious consequences. Maybe he is too young to realize the difference between a prank and a lie as he explained “I really got you but you got me good too.”
Parents.com offers up these tips for age by age guidance on teaching your children not to lie. The TV sensation “Super Nanny” offers up these tips to stop lying, set a good example, respond with consequences and praise honesty. Most importantly many experts agree that as a parent it’s important to watch how you speak. Just by asking a question a certain way, a child may respond with a lie out of fear of consequences. Judy Arnall, a Calgary parent educator and author of Discipline Without Distress recommends, “It’s OK to say, ‘That’s a lie and I don’t like lies.’ Explain how lying breaks down trust and you need to trust each other,” says Arnall. “It may take a few times, but when your child comes to you with the truth and you don’t freak out, she will learn to come more often.”
Victoria Talwar, a developmental psychologist at McGill University who studies lying in children states that this may be the most important advice, “Don’t expect your kids to be honest if you’re not. “If you are sending your kids the message that truth is really important, but they see you telling occasional small fibs to get out of things, they will see lying as a strategy they can use,”