Rabbi Shmuley Boteach
Why do children lie? According to Rabbi Shmuley, today's children have grown up too fast and have compromised their innocent, childlike qualities. Rabbi Shmuley talks about why children lie and how parents can prevent them from continuing their dishonesty.

Reasons Why Children Lie:
  • Children see their parents lie. Once parents don't tell the truth, children learn it's okay to follow suit.
  • Parents lie to children. For example, parents may tell their children the moon is made of blue cheese. Once they discover it's not, they learn that the world is not necessarily built on truth—it's built on expedience.
  • Children lie out of fear. They're afraid to get caught for something bad they may have done.
  • Children are afraid to admit there are things they don't know. Kids are not taught to value humility. Parents push them to do well in school and to master things instead of understand or relate to things. So when parents ask their children what the capital of South Dakota is, they'll make it up rather than say they don't know.

How to Get Your Children to Tell the Truth:
  • Always tell them you would rather they be honest and fess up rather than lie and hide the truth.
  • Punish them you must. If they lie, there must be consequences. You can't let them get away with it.
  • Be a confessional parent. Share with them stories of things you did of which you are ashamed and teach them to trust the world and to tell the truth, even if it portrays them in a bad light.
  • Expose them to the lives of great historical figures who were distinguished by honesty, such as Honest Abe. Explain to them that "The truth shall set you free."

Today's Shmuleyism
"Children need to learn that truth is not something embraced when convenient, but is society's foundation of justice and is the basis of good character. It is something for which great people are prepared to die and for which righteous people are prepared to live. Always tell your kids, 'It is better to fess up than ever coverup.'"
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