Why Do Children Tell Lies?
All children are innocent, but not all of them are honest. Quite a few of them tell lies. We frequently hear about children being punished by their parents or teachers for lying. My nephew, an eleven-year-old boy, is often scolded by his mother. Whenever he comes home late, he says that he was at school. But more than once he was found playing with other naughty boys on their way home. Who is to blame now? Is it the children themselves who enjoy telling lies or other people, such as their parents or teachers, who cause them to do so?
We have no doubt that children are born to be pure. They grow up, affected by their surroundings. Although they take interest in almost everything, they haven＇t developed their own powers of independent judgement. They can＇t tell what＇s right or what＇s wrong. Their powers of observation①, in contrast, are much stronger than their powers of judgement. And above all, they are good at imitating②. Unfortunately, we adults sometimes lie. Maybe we find it necessary or have to to do so sometimes. This is something like white lies③. The trouble is that most of us don＇t avoid doing so before children. Thus, children＇s lying is, in a way, the result of adult＇s act.
We also believe that children certainly make mistakes. At first, they do have some interest in truth and honesty. A boy has broken a glass, and have admitted his mistakes; he is almost likely scolded instead of being praised by his parents. And when a pupil admits that he misses class one time, he is usually warned not to do that again another time by his teacher. Gradually the child loses the courage to tell the truth; on the contrary, he feels it helpful to tell lies: at least, he can escape being punished here and now. And at last, he concludes that to tell lies is somehow a good way to get rid of trouble. Before long the parents and the teacher will be complaining that the child is always lying, but they seldom realize that it is they who have brought this on the child.