Dear Grandparenting: It’s a sad and disheartening time with all these lies floating around. The Internet is full of it. Leaders lie, public servants lie, CEOs lie, celebrities and sports heroes lie and what else have you.
People play games with the truth and never own up, much less apologize. They go their merry way and do it again. Sounds like the same playbook my young grandkids use, and they don’t seem all that sorry either. Telling the truth is a really big deal with me. Lying is one habit I certainly want to nip in the bud. Is there hope? Carol Ann Pollard, Asheville, Tennessee
Dear Carol Ann: We’re all entitled to our own set of opinions, quipped the late U.S. Senator Patrick Moynihan, but not our own set of facts. Sounds good, but it seems wishful thinking.
Lying and deception are as old as human language. According to one University of Massachusetts study, 60% of adults cannot have a 10-minute conversation without lying once. On average, they’ll lie three times. Other studies confirm that lies routinely speckle social interactions.
Lying trickles down. It’s contagious, and children model what they hear. Not that kids today need much encouragement — one study in the journal Developmental Psychology found children to be increasingly capable liars from age three and one-half on.
But the fact that people lie, or expect to be lied to, hardly excuses family members from the responsibility of building children with a strong moral foundation. The family circle is the best defense against youngsters spouting their own version of the facts, a safe environment where truth is openly valued and rewarded, steering impressionable grandchildren onto the high road. If family doesn’t step up, who will?
Grand remark of the week
Theo Epps from Pottstown, Pennsylvania walked in as wife Josie was rocking 13-month-old grandson Ryan to sleep.
“What’s doing?” he whispered.
“I’ve got the whole world right here in my hands,” replied Josie.
Dee and Tom, married more than 50 years, have eight grandchildren. Together with Key, they welcome questions, suggestions and Grand Remarks of the Week. Send to P.O. Box 27454, Towson, MD, 21285. Call 410-963-4426.