There is significant evidence to suggest that kids become more dishonest with their parents when their parents lie to them. And kids who grow up in environments were lying is tolerated will develop more antisocial and aggressive behavior.

Kids aren't stupid–so it's pretty stunning that so many adults talk down to them or deceive them in some way, as when they tell them potentially damaging lies.


People shared their stories after Redditor nopomegranates97 asked the online community:

"What's the worst lie you were told when you were a kid?"

"My mom would always tell me..."

"My mom would always tell me I was the 'easiest physical birth out of all of the kids.' I felt proud until at the age of 18 I was told I was adopted."

femok6

That must have been an emotional rollercoaster. Hopefully you're a bit more settled now (and perhaps learned more about your birth family, too).

"That my mom would return..."

"That my mom would return the money she 'borrowed' from me. Little did i know it went straight to drugs."

FlimsyFig5951

This must have been so heartbreaking to learn so young.

"My dad always told me..."

"My dad always told me we had to be home before 9 pm because they would roll the sidewalks up and turn the traffic lights off."

thewonderred

Funny, the things we believe when we're children. As an adult, that scenario sounds like a logicial nightmare.

"My grandmother told me..."

"My grandmother told me that everytime you tell a lie or swear, your heart gets a black dot. When the heart is completely black, you end up in hell."

eldidge

This sounds like a great way to give a child anxiety over very little.

"Turns out..."

"'You are so lucky to have a parent like me, other children would do anything to have me as a mother.'"

"Turns out that was, in fact, not the truth."

Actual_grass

Heartbreaking but also freeing, once you figure that out. Our parents are not perfect people, and some of us have worse parents than others.

"I was told by a brother..."

"I was told by a brother I was adopted. It was the most hopeful year of my young life. I dreamed of another family coming to save me."

nativecrone

This saddens me. Hopefully things are better for you now.

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"She was the eldest..."

"I was the one telling the lie. My sister was very annoying as a child. She was the eldest and made the rest of us feel subservient and inferior."

"I got mad enough one day to tell her that our grandmother had told me that my older sister was adopted, that my parents had another baby first, but the baby had been dropped in a river and drowned. So they adopted her and gave her the same name as the dead baby."

"All her early baby photos were the first baby, and she had been adopted as an infant because she looked like the dead baby. I was six, she was seven, and she believed me for quite a while."

Badassnun

This is creative and it's also quite... evil. How are things between the two of you now, I wonder?

"My mom would tell me..."

"My mom would tell me while my dad was in Vietnam that when he got back he was going to beat the living daylights out of me because I was bad."

WolfThick

Well, this got dark. Why do parents say things like this to their kids?!

"It turns out the fish..."

"It turns out the fish weren't released in the local pond. They died. My dad tried to cover it up and convince me of that."

ravenpotter3

I don't know why so many parents balk at using opportunities like these to teach children about death and dying.

"Maybe it can't..."

"Money can't buy happiness. Maybe it can't but it sure does give you peace of mind."

JollyGreenGiant_8

Maybe not happiness, but money definitely gives you options, which many of us lack.

According to child psychologist Gwen Dewar, our children are "better off if adults avoid telling them manipulative lies," noting that to do so has both short term and long term effects, ultimately harming a child's relationship with the adults around them.

To do so anyway? Sounds like an easy way to create a lifetime of resentment.

Have some stories of your own to share? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!

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