Radio Lancashire Interview

May 2016

I pointed out that some white lies told to children, like Father Christmas, are fictional constructions designed to make childhood a more magical place. But some are shortcuts to produce behaviour change in the child, and that, on occasion, it might be preferable to attempt to explain why eating vegetables, or carrots, is good, without resorting to the usual fabrications.  That way we encourage learning of the underlying values.  Children pick up on white lies early on, and by aged three are starting to use them themselves.  A significant proportion of white lies in adults are told for the benefit of others ('your bum doesn't look big in that') and we come to rely on them in everyday life.  When you ask people to fill in 'lie diaries' you find out how common these white lies for the benefit of others really are, but still not as common as the ones designed for our own benefit!

I did an interview with BBC Radio Lancashire about the role of white lies in everyday life and the white lies parents tell their children.  I pointed out that some white lies told to children, like Father Christmas, are fictional constructions designed to make childhood a more magical place. But some are shortcuts to produce behaviour change in the child, and that, on occasion, it might be preferable to attempt to explain why eating vegetables, or carrots, is good, without resorting to the usual fabrications.  That way we encourage learning of the underlying values.  Children pick up on white lies early on, and by aged three are starting to use them themselves.  A significant proportion of white lies in adults are told for the benefit of others ('your bum doesn't look big in that') and we come to rely on them in everyday life.  When you ask people to fill in 'lie diaries' you find out how common these white lies for the benefit of others really are, but still not as common as the ones designed for our own benefit!