Ten Ways Kids are Lied to Everyday

marmalade_skies
Teenhood and early adulthood are painful periods in which human beings detox from every lie they were told as a child. Parents and society lie to children for a variety of reasons. Some reasons are selfish; adults are entertained by their cuteness and don't want kids to be wise enough to challenge their authority. Other reasons are understandable such as wanting children to enjoy being kids and not wanting to overwhelm them with too many truths at once.

The Top Ten

1 White lies that add up

I'm not saying they should never be done, nor that people need to constantly tell children unpleasant things. However, it can be done tactfully and sandwiched in between positive words. Children may not realize until their adults that they have body odor or they chew with their mouth open and plenty of other little things. - marmalade_skies

2 Implying the world is fair

Most of the contests children participate in are fair. Athletics, tests in school, extra cirrics, video games. All of these events have fixed rules and the winner goes to the person of higher skill. However, as they grow up, they will realize that many pursuits are not merit-based: dating, employment, politics, life in general. - marmalade_skies

3 Punishing their curiosity

When a child asks "why is the moon round", many parents will say "I don't know. Stop playing around and eat your food. It's getting cold." instead of inspiring them to maybe become scientists someday. Or when a child asks an earnestly objective question such as "Why do we kill turkeys for Thanksgiving", parents often hush them. Often this occurs in uneducated households, but it essentially tells children that their critical thinking and intellect aren't too important. - marmalade_skies

4 Portraying relationships as rosy

Children are going to feel lied to once they realize that, among the family they looked up to, were abusers, cheaters and so on. Also, children who are not told about these things run the risk of entering bad relationships themselves. And yes, children know when parents are divorcing. And no, they don't think that half of the furniture is missing for absolutely no reason. - marmalade_skies

5 Dishonesty about vices

"Porn makes you a sinner", "All people who use marijuana are stupid", "Sex doesn't exist (yet people do it a lot for some reason)" and so on. Exaggerating about the downsides of vices will result in them not being able to tell the difference between the legitimate cautions and the made-up ones. - marmalade_skies

6 Easy economy

Children get toys and gifts without having to work, but eventually they'll have to start at the bottom and work really hard for low pay. Also, telling them that the world is full of opportunity results in them being frustrated if they graduate college in a slow job market. - marmalade_skies

7 Pretense of institutions

Children are given the impression that authority and institutions exist out of inherent goodness. But eventually they will realize the extent of which politics is competent and the law is arbitrary. I thought that pundits on news stations were saying something really complex because they were wearing suits and talking about important things; only to realize that later they were just making simple arguments and pandering. - marmalade_skies

8 Inflating their self-confidence

Children get praise for doing the littlest things, but that's eventually going to set them up for disappointment when they work hard and most people don't express any gratitude for them. Couple inflated self-confidence with naiveness, and you get a teenager who thinks they know to run the world. - marmalade_skies

9 Shielding them from real-world problems

Many children are raised in a world of cartoons, school activities, etc. They are given the impression that the world is a utopia. When they grow up, they eventually realize the extent of war, murder, disease, rape, domestic abuse and so on. - marmalade_skies

10 Not telling them you've lied to them.

As stated in the description, not all reasons for lying to a child are foul. However, by the time society demands that they become adults, there is too much unlearning to be done in too short of a period. And adults never say "hey, watch out for the cliff you're going to face once you enter adolescence". It's like secretly feeding someone a drug for 15-20 years, and then taking them off of the drug without telling them. - marmalade_skies

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