Family and Society: February 2008 Archives

All Kids Lie

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"My son doesn’t lie,” insisted Steve, a slightly frazzled father in his mid-thirties, as he watched Nick, his eager 6-year-old, enthralled in a game of marbles with a student researcher in Talwar’s Montreal lab. Steve was quite proud of his son, describing him as easygoing and very social. He had Nick bark out an impressive series of addition problems the boy had memorized, as if that was somehow proof of Nick’s sincerity.

Steve then took his assertion down a notch. “Well, I’ve never heard him lie.” Perhaps that, too, was a little strong. “I’m sure he must lie some, but when I hear it, I’ll still be surprised.” He had brought his son to the lab after seeing an advertisement in a Montreal parenting magazine that asked, “Can Your Child Tell the Difference Between the Truth and a Lie?”

Steve was curious to find out if Nick would lie, but he wasn’t sure he wanted to know the answer. The idea of his son’s being dishonest with him was profoundly troubling.

But I knew for a fact his son did lie. Nick cheated, then he lied, and then he lied again. He did so unhesitatingly, without a single glimmer of remorse.

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Family and Society category from February 2008.

Family and Society: December 2007 is the previous archive.

Family and Society: March 2008 is the next archive.

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