Saturday, January 1, 2011

Crying Wolf

My two oldest children both went through lying phases.  (My youngest is either an angel or she just hasn't gotten there yet.)  How did I deal with this?  I told them the story of the boy who cried wolf, ending with a dramatic, "And all the sheep died."  I must say that this is an effective method.  Or at least, it has been with my children.  The ironic thing?  IT'S A LIE!  As far as I know, that story was created for the sole purpose of teaching children the importance of telling the truth.  I mean, maybe it's got roots somewhere in a different time and place.  Maybe there really was a boy who was BORED to death tending sheep and CRAVED a little excitement.  Maybe, but probably not.

Now, this is something that shouldn't bother me morally, but remember you're talking to the girl who feels guilty driving in the carpool lane with kids in tow because it's not like they're old enough to drive themselves anywhere.  At the same time, I think telling stories to teach something to children is an age-old method that works better than BRIBERY and DISCIPLINE combined (come to think of it, combining those two things could be disasterous).  So, do I LIE to my third child when the time comes to teach her that lying may come with consequences as severe as lost innocent lives?

To tell the TRUTH, I'm sure I will.

What's your favorite story that teaches a lesson?

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