Children lie for different reasons, so it's important for parents to understand the difference between a lie and an exaggeration. Children pretend lie, exaggerate, or lie to keep from getting in trouble. Therefore, it’s helps if parents understand the intention behind, or the reason their child is lying, and get professional advice on the best course of action to take. This article is simply the opinion of another parent and a children’s book writer meant to inspire and entertain parents in the area of rearing children. However, my own childhood experiences coupled with a love for children inspired me to write about the issue of self-esteem in early childhood...
For me the first grade was a courageous attempt to conceal my inability to jump rope from the girls in my class. The youngest and only girl in my family, I learned to play games like Batman and Robin instead of learning to jump rope or master the hoola hoop. Before the first grade, I never laid eyes on a jump rope before, and now I had to learn to jump one!
I needed help, and I thought help arrived in the form of Holly White, a popular little girl in my first grade classroom. Everyone loved Holly, and everything Holly did met with instant approval.
All of the little girls in my first grade class wanted to be friends with Holly, so every Friday she would interview each of her admirers, and decide which one would have the pleasure of her company. I thought I had a real shot, however my hopes were about to disintegrate.
My parents had a boarding stable, and most children were impressed with that fact, however Holly White did not turn out to be one of those children. Holly loved pigs, not horse’s, pigs, or at least that‘s what she said. Therefore, when she was deciding which groupies house to attend, she asked each of us what was so great about our house. I told her during my interview that my house was great because we had pigs. The lie came out of my mouth before I knew it, and it was too late after it did, since Holly was delighted at the prospect of meeting the sloppy livestock, and told everyone about our plans for that week-end.
We had about fifty acres of property that we used for a pasture, so I assumed the pasture would be a good place to keep a pig farm. I conspired to walk Holly out in the pasture, and when we couldn’t find any pigs (since there weren’t any) I would say the pigs must have wandered off somewhere when we there. So you see it was not only a lie it was a premeditated lie!
When we arrived at the barn, Holly and I went out to the pasture to look for the pig farm. I thought I was on top of the world, I was not only friends with a celebrity, I had impressed her with my engaging resources. We were halfway through the pasture when we heard, “Ann! What are you doing?” echo from a distance.
Before I could return a lie for my answer Holly hollered back, “We’re going to see the pigs!”
I wanted to disappear, and then I heard my Mother answer, “Ann We don’t have any pigs! Come back from the pasture this instant!” consequently, this is where my popularity at school came to a screeching halt, and I went back to being plain old Ann, except that I added liar to my name. The fact that I felt the weight of humiliation the rest of the year was a blessing, however, I was too young to realize it at the time.
I think one of the main reasons children lie is for the same reason I did, they wish to be accepted by their peers. Especially today, with so many different forms of entertainment, and the bombardment of ads suggesting that only certain styles of clothing and physical characteristics are acceptable in society today. All of these elements have the propensity to damage young children's self -esteem. And a poor self -esteem not only robs children of an opportunity for a bright future, it is at fault for many of society’s social problems today; drug abuse, crime, domestic abuse and eating disorders all derive from a lack of, or poor self -esteem.
I think parents should provide ways of helping their kids improve their self-esteem, through positive reinforcement, positive role modeling, and communication. One of the best gifts you can give your child is to provide them with ways they can improve their self worth. If they believe in themselves they will not expect the world to provide them with happiness, rather they will expect themselves to provide happiness to the world. So nurture their self-esteem it will most certainly pay off in the future.
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