It starts with a little white lie

Sitting home on a Sunday afternoon is a lot more thought-provoking than I thought it would be. My little cousins are over, and they were watching a movie. During the previews, one of my cousins said “I saw half of that movie!”

The movie isn’t out on DVD yet, and she definitely hasn’t seen it in theaters—I’d know, as I live with her.

I know she’s just trying to impress the other little cousins, and to most people it seems like a harmless thing to lie about. The truth is, it’s far from harmless and people need to realize this.

I know I told the same sort of lie as a kid, but that doesn’t make it any more okay. I realize this now.

You see, the problem is that the lies start small when you’re small and they continue to grow with you.

Letting kids tell these lies, and as frequently as we all know kids do, condition them into thinking that lying is okay.

Those five and six-year-olds on the playground grow into teenagers that lie to their parents and say their homework was finished an hour ago, and that they already started their essay that’s due in a week. A week later, the kid skipped a few chapters of math he needs to know for his test, but he still can’t study it because he still has to write about the themes and ideas presented in Catcher in the Rye.

Yet again, those teenagers grow up to be young adults who call in sick to work after skipping a few classes at the community college they go to so that they can drive out of town to see their favorite band in concert with some friends. Then they lie again a few days later when they get home late and tell their parents that they weren’t drinking with friends, when none of them are quite 21 yet.

Those young adults grow up and get married, get a job in the career they want. One day one of them has a young new secretary who he just can’t keep his eyes off of. Why not lie to his wife and say he has some extra work so that he can call her into his office just before she’s ready to call it a night? It won’t be more than a few months before his wife catches on to what happened and she leaves him.

Are those lies told as a kid still so harmless? This is why we need to teach kids at a young age that honesty is key. This is why it’s so easy to lie, because from such a young age it’s perfectly acceptable to lie. Parents know their kids lie, and you know what they do? They sit back and let them. That needs to stop.

Lies aren’t harmless, and after all those years and those little lies you let your kids tell, you wonder why they lie to you when you tell them lying is wrong.