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What Kids Say About Lies

Who is more dishonest, kids, or adults?

by Lisa Carver
25 April 2012, 10:05am

Dora is 12 and says, “Yeah, I lie!” as if I’m some kind of freak for even asking.
Bean is 10 and lies like this: “I did not eat that cookies!”
Max is 17 and lies “when it suits me… which is rarely. There are consequences.”
Will is 14 and will not answer personal questions such as “How often do you lie?”
Neighbor Girl is 8 and lies “all the time”.
Sadie is 9 and “doesn’t lie, exactly".
Wolf is 17 and lies “a lot about brushing my teeth”.

Dora: I think that children aren’t honest at all. They’re always stealing things and breaking things. I think humans are just born dishonest.
VICE: I prefer people stealing and breaking things boldly over crafting their conversation to make themselves look a certain way, like adults do. Like, what do they even get out of that?
Dora: The adults are just looking for sex!

Who is more dishonest, kids or adults?
Bean: Adults.

How come?
Those are all the douchebag Republican guys.

Aren’t there any douchebag Republican kids?
There are douchebag skinhead kids.

What makes you think Republicans lie?
[Snickering at my naiveté] They say Kony doesn’t concern our taxes, so they’re not going to do anything about it.

Well, at least you know where you stand with them, if they say that.
Bean’s dad: Kids are more dishonest. Whenever one of these kids has done something horrendous, they won’t tell me which one of them did it, and they’ll all blame each other.

Bean: Dominick wasn’t throwing a baseball when he broke the window; he was throwing Silly Putty. Really hard Silly Putty. Right at Dora’s head!

Max: That wasn’t Dominick. That was you! I’m just kidding. But to answer the question: It feels like it’s human nature to lie when the opportunity presents itself. For survival or for petty, dumb reasons. But I think adults are more honest. No. Adults are better at lying and hiding than kids, so they don’t get caught at it as much. But adults lie about the worst things. Kids will lie about eating a Twinkie. Adults lie about war, taxes, love.

Will: Adults. Kids don’t tell our parents there’s a giant bunny hiding eggs or a man who’s 400 pounds coming down a chimney we don’t even have.

People always give those two examples of parental lies. What else?
Will: I wouldn’t know what else they’re lying about, if they’d lie about that.

Neighbor Girl: Adults! And they yell at kids, too!
Do you lie?
I do. Yeeaah.

At least you’re honest about your dishonesty.
I lie to my dad.

Does he lie to you?
Yeah. He tricks me. Parents don’t want to be honest if it would hurt kids’ feelings.

Sadie: When adults think kids shouldn’t know about something, they just lie about it. And they always think kids shouldn’t know about things, so they always lie. Some of the things they think I shouldn’t know, it’s not really that bad. And I know about it already anyway, even if it is bad. Or when it’s something adults are doing that they don’t want their kids to do, because maybe it’s dangerous, they’ll lie to kids about it and say they’re not doing it.

Do kids lie to their parents?
Yeah, because they don’t want their parents to know about something they did, not something about how the world works.

Do you lie to me?
Sadie: There’s a fine line between being tricky and lying. I don’t lie, but I make up stories. Like, I’d say my friend is my sister, but I won’t say I did my homework if I didn’t. Like, did you used to make up stories about Santa Claus for me?

I actually never did. I didn’t say anything against it when other people said it, but I never said anything for it to you. Oh, look at me getting all high and mighty. I forgot about that time I—
wrote me a note as the Tooth Fairy.

Yeah, I used my—
left hand so I wouldn’t recognise your writing?

You knew?!
Not at the time.

Did it bother you when you realised I’d tricked you?
Well, you didn’t lie to be mean.

So you care more about intentions than perfect honesty.
Mm hm. Plus you still gave me the two dollars.

Wolf: Adults are dishonest. Not all are. Or kids are more dishonest? You catch them more often. You can tell adults are lying or stole something when they’re smiling. Grinning a little bit, acting strange. When I lie, I get a shaky body. I don’t grin. Maybe I’ll start grinning when I lie when I’m an adult.

Previously -  Kids Answering EHarmony's Questions

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lies
Vice Blog
What Kids Say