Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Big Enormous lie!

Continuing on the trouble with/of Abhay’s, my my last post on the said subject got me into trouble instead, with gag orders being issued by my family over my tendency to open up a little too much on Onestoryaday!:) Anyway, almost all parents have come across a situation where they’ve caught their kids lying or being dishonest with them. Needless to say, such behavior has to be tackled with appropriate measures, disciplinary or advisory given the seriousness of the situation. Without going into details, let me say that we’d encountered a similar problem recently. Initially brushed aside as innocent, we soon realized that laxity leads to more lying! So we decided to take it seriously and go to the root of the matter. Children lie to escape from accountability or in other words punishment. But the solution does not only lie in making the environment more permissive but also in periodic reinforcements of value based principles of truth and honesty. They need to realize that whether they are held accountable or not, lying will get them nowhere! After all, you may escape from consequences but not your conscience…isn’t it?
I understand that these values cannot be imbibed in a one-off incident but achieved only by consistent reinforcement of the same. As a start, I picked up "A Big Fat Enormous Lie" by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat and illustrated by David McPhail. A little boy lies to his father that he isnt the one to finish the jar of cookies (our problem is quite the opposite!). He knows that he should have told the truth but also knows that the truth would have upset his parents! So he lies and now he is stuck with his lie. His guilt of having lied grows into a green monster that only gets bigger and bigger! No matter how much he ignores, begs, pleads or hides from the monster, it doesn't go away! Finally as he overcomes his fear and admits the truth to his parents, the monster is seen shrinking in size until it eventually disappears into thin air, leaving the boy to wonder if it has left to bother another little liar half way around the world! So Abhay beware, the next time you toss chapattis from your lunchbox into the dustbin and claim to have finished them yourself, you may just be hounded by the big fat enormous monster! 


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