Before doing researches, I wonder if there are anything in common between adults lying to their partner and kids lying to their parents. Kids start lying from very young age and the lie grows with them. As I know, the common motivation for the lie is they all want something from the people they are closed to. As for the people who are being lied to, they are willing to provide the liars whatever they want to appease them. However, it is totally different from the things they expected. Adults lie to their partner because they want more than what their partner can provide. This normally ends up arguments. What is worse is they would be separated in the end. By comparison, kids deny what they do as they just want to be safe and they are satisfied with little outcome. However, if there is no one to teach a kid right from wrong, they might not explore or form the right values for their entire life. Therefore, my research question is what is the difference between adults and kids who both lie to people they are close to. This research paper discusses adults who cheat on their partners, children are not being honest with their parents, and the comparison between the kids’ and adults’ lie.
It was reported that about sixty percent of adults lie at least once within ten minutes and the statistics showed that about 86 percent of parents get lied to while 69 percent of spouses have been cheated(Gaille, 2017). According to Gaille (2017), most of the children started to lie from the age of 2 or 3. Kids as young as 4 years old understand what lying is. In Facts for Families (2017), it is demonstrated that parents are concerned when their children tell lies due to their stage of development. It is shown that children from different stages lie for different reasons. Four to five years old kids have learned how to make up stories but they just do for their own interest. Meanwhile, older children might lie because they want to excuse themselves from a chore (Fact for families, 2017). Furthermore, children found that lying is the easiest way to make their parents or others to satisfy their demands (Fact for families, 2017). For instance, when I was in my primary school, there were many kids staying in city but away from parents because they had to get a better education. They knew that if they were sick, they could go home and see their parents. Therefore, a lot of kids pretended that they were sick. When they reach adolescent, they probably tell lies to their boyfriend or girlfriend, and usually do not want to tell the real reason of a breakup, because they think they will hurt their partner less while also protecting their own privacy (Fact for families, 2017).
It is believed that kids lie for what they want, or to escape from their responsibilities. For instance, when a kid sees a can of coke on the table, she would tell her mom that she was thirsty. Or when it is the time to sleep, she does not want to sleep, so she pretends that she has a headache. According to Dr. Rouse as cited in Arky (n,d.), other than getting what they demand, kids sometimes tell lies in order to test what will happen if they do something new. Besides, Dr. Rouse continued that children want to enhance self-esteem through exaggeration, to make themselves look impressive (cited in Arck, n,d). Furthermore, according to Moore’s (2016) article, kids in different stages lie for different reasons. When they are two to three years old, they start denying their faults, like they tell their mom that they do not eat cookies with full-mouth cookies (Moore, 2016). Four-year-old kids know what truth or lie is and they lie to adults in order to beg them to forgive their misbehaviors (Moore, 2016). While seven-year-old kids do not want other people to regard them as “bad” so they tell lies (Moore, 2016). Last but not least, teaching kids about truthful is necessary to introduce the right values to them. Dr. Rouse introduced that sometimes you can just ignore what kids lie about, because they are just trying to gain their confidence (cited in Arck, n,d.). However, when the situation gets serious, there must be consequences. For example, when children lie to parents that they do not have homework to do, parents should tell them what they have done will have consequences (cited in Arck, n,d.). Parents can punish them by making them do some housework to practice a better behaviors (cited in Arck, n,d.). In Why kids lie and What to do about it, Moore (2016) also showed us some research on how to inspire children to be honest. Before asking them what happened, parents can guide their kids to promise first and explain them that to be faithful will not get punished, or tell them some stories to encourage them (Moore, 2016). The most important thing is parents have to be honest in front of their kids (Moore, 2016). In a word, kids lie to demand for something, to gain confidence, and to avoid troubles.
When mentioned about the topic of adults, it is usually related to relationship area. Initially, adults are likely to lie to their partner to get what they want and to protect themselves. According to Vilhauer (2018), a clinical faculty member at Emory University, people lied to their partners is because they do not want to hurt their partner and want to maintain a good status in their partner’s eyes. The research shows that normally, small lies will build up to a big one with elaborated detail (Vilhuaer, 2018). However, once uncovered, the relationship will be ruined completely. One of her customers with several wonderful women to look for ‘the one’ (Vilhuaer, 2018). The women actually love him, but he kept lying without showing the real him. He thought they do not like him and was afraid that those women would noticed they are cheated on(Vilhuaer, 2018). The reason of lying to the women is he is not willing to hurt them (Vilhuaer, 2018). But ultimately, what to protect them became a damage to him and the ones he lied to (Vilhuaer, 2018). Similarly, one of my female friends had met someone who was so nice to everyone. However, he lied to the women he dated with and dated with multiple women during the same period. He complained that he could not find the right partner. In fact, after some days, most of women noticed that they had been cheated on so they left him, telling many people he is so bad. As a result, it is known that he pretends to be nice to everyone he met. Another explanation of cheating from the Truth About Deception (n.d) is people have reproductive desires with more than one partner in order to increase the amount of offspring. Back to history, being with multiple partners was an effective mean to reproduce more (Truth About Deception, n,d). Nowadays, three percent of mammals practice monogamy but a few species, including human have only one single mate (Truth About Deception, n.d.). Besides, the motivations behind men lie differ from women. Men are likely to think about sex as he only take a few minutes of effort for reproduction, while women tend to have emotional affairs because she has to take nine months on gestation (Truth About Deception). Knowing the reason why they deceive, there are also some ways to detect when they are lying. You can tell from their behaviors and their words. There is a scenario that one man always repeat and emphasized that he is honest to his girlfriend and he will never tell lies but he never trusts others. When his girlfriend found that he lied to her about his identity, she asked him if he has an affair, he overreacted, and asked her when, how and where. After that, he complaint about her thinking too much. Eventually, she showed him the evidence. To sum up, the reasons of adults dishonesty in their relationship are various but it may not be a good result after their partner know the truth.
As can be known, kids begin to learn lying and sometimes they are not able to make logical lies which can persuade people to believe. By comparison, when becoming an adults, they have learned and experienced various types of lies from which they are likely to tell most believable lies or they are good at hiding the real facts. Besides, adults have known what they are doing and what they will get after exposed, while kids sometimes just do not want to be regarded as a “bad” kid. However, when an adult is not faithful in their relationship, it will be hard for both of them build up trust again. Sometimes their partner will choose to leave. Differently, kids haven’t learnt the right values of truthfulness, so they will be taught to discipline themselves by their parents. Otherwise, lying will become their bad habits once they are get older. They may consider lies as their means to reach their goals. As mentioned before, adults lies to their partner because they would like to satisfy their own needs. When they find that there will be no one to blame him because of the lies, they likely feel fortunate and would do it again and again. In the meanwhile, kids at learning stage like to test how things works. Once he find out that no one notices that they is lying, they will try more to be more skillful. As can be seen, there are differences and commons reasons for lying between child and adult.
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