interesting and important article (and research) about how kids learn to lie. i encourage you to read the whole (long) thing, but here are a few paragraphs from the first couple pages:
Kids lie early, often, and for all sorts of reasons—to avoid punishment, to bond with friends, to gain a sense of control. But now there’s a singular theory for one way this habit develops: They are just copying their parents.
…By the end of the interview, the kids saw for the first time how much they were lying and how many of the family’s rules they had broken. Darling says 98 percent of the teens reported lying to their parents.
By the time a child reaches school age, the reasons for lying become more complex. Avoiding punishment is still a primary catalyst for lying, but lying also becomes a way to increase a child’s power and sense of control—by manipulating friends with teasing, by bragging to assert status, and by learning he can fool his parents.
Encouraged to tell so many white lies and hearing so many others, children get comfortable with being disingenuous. Insincerity becomes a daily occurrence.
The most disturbing reason children lie is that parents teach them to. According to Talwar, they learn it from us. “We don’t explicitly tell them to lie, but they see us do it. They see us tell the telemarketer, ‘I’m just a guest here.’ They see us boast and lie to smooth social relationships.”
(ht to ypulse)