“Lying children will grow up to be successful citizens”

“Lying children will grow up to be successful citizens”

Author: Richard Alleyne
Publication: Telegraph.co.uk
Date:  August 3, 2010
Pages: Home Section, Science

In today’s excerpt – a controversial suggestion regarding children and lying:

“Researchers have found that the ability to tell fibs at the age of two is a sign of a fast
developing brain and means they are more likely to have successful lives. They found that the
more plausible the lie, the more quick witted they will be in later years and the better their
ability to think on their feet. It also means that they have developed ‘executive function’ –
the ability to invent a convincing lie by keeping the truth at the back of their mind.

” ‘Parents should not be alarmed if their child tells a fib,’ said Dr Kang Lee, director of
the Institute of Child Study at Toronto University who carried out the research. ‘Almost all
children lie. Those who have better cognitive development lie better because they can cover
up their tracks. They may make bankers in later life.’ Lying involves multiple brain processes,
such as integrating sources of information and manipulating the data to their advantage.
It is linked to the development of brain regions that allow ‘executive functioning’ and use
higher order thinking and reasoning.

“Dr Lee and his team tested 1,200 children aged two to 16 years old. A majority of the volunteers
told lies but it is the children with better cognitive abilities who can tell the best lies.
At the age of two, 20 per cent of children will lie. This rises to 50 per cent by three and
almost 90 per cent at four. The most deceitful age, they discovered, was 12, when almost every
child tells lies. The tendency starts to fall away by the age of 16, when it is 70 per cent.
As adulthood approaches, young people learn instead to use the less harmful ‘white lies’ that
everyone tells to avoid hurting people’s feelings.

“Researchers say there is no link between telling fibs in childhood and any tendency to cheat
in exams or to become a fraudster later in life. Nor does strict parenting or a religious upbringing
have any impact. Dr Lee said that catching your children lying was not a bad thing but should be
exploited as a ‘teachable moment’. ‘You shouldn’t smack or scream at your child but you should talk
about the importance of honesty and the negativity of lying,’ he told the Sunday Times. ‘After the
age of eight the opportunities are going to be very rare.’

“The research team invited younger children – one at a time – to sit in a room with hidden cameras.
A soft toy was placed behind them. When the researcher briefly left the room, the children were told
not to look. In nine out of ten cases cameras caught them peeking. But when asked if they had looked,
they almost always said no. They tripped themselves up when asked what they thought the toy might be.
One little girl asked to place her hand underneath a blanket that was over the toy before she answered
the question. After feeling the toy but not seeing it, she said: ‘It feels purple so it must be Barney.’
Dr Lee, who caught his son Nathan, three, looking at the toy, said: ‘We even had cameras trained on their
knees because we thought their legs would fidget if they were telling a lie, but it isn’t true.’

“Older children were set a test paper but were told they must not look at the answers printed on the back.
Some of the questions were easy, such as who lives in the White House. But the children who looked at the
back gave the printed answer ‘Presidius Akeman’ to the bogus question ‘Who discovered Tunisia?’ When asked
how they knew this, some said they learned it in a history class.”

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New Kids at Zoozoo Land Daycare creches in Parklands, Cape Town

We would like to welcome the following children to our school:

Abigail, Amber, Ayush, Brendan, Chanda, Chloe Macqueen, Colte, Connor, Emmanuel, Fe, Gabriel, Hairat, Imange, Imani, Inam, Isabella Ormerod, Isabella, Ivane, Jean, Joey, Jordan, Josh, Kamva, Katy-Ann, Khanya, Khanyisa, Lisa, Liviwe, Liyakha, Luke, Micaela, Milani, Mira, Mitchell, Morgan Lee, Naledzi, Nande, Njabulo, Okuhle, Peculiar, Piper, Qamani, Ronewa, Sinalo, Siphosam, Thabo, Thendo, Thialyn, Tinotenda, Toccoa & Tsimo

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A message every adult should read because children
are watching you and doing as you do, not as you say.

When you thought I wasn’t looking I saw you hang my
first painting on the refrigerator, and I immediately
wanted to paint another one.

When you thought I wasn’t looking I saw you feed a
stray cat, and I learned that it was good to be kind
to animals.

When you thought I wasn’t looking I saw you make my
favourite cake for me, and I learned that the little
things can be the special things in life.

When you thought I wasn’t looking I heard you say a
prayer, and I knew that there is a God I could always
talk to, and I learned to trust in Him.

When you thought I wasn’t looking I saw you make a
meal and take it to a friend who was sick, and I
learned that we all have to help take care of each other.

When you thought I wasn’t looking I saw you take care
of our house and everyone in it, and I learned we have
to take care of what we are given.

When you thought I wasn’t looking I saw how you
handled your responsibilities, even when you didn’t
feel good, and I learned that I would have to be
responsible when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn’t looking I saw tears come
from your eyes, and I learned that sometimes things
hurt, but it’s all right to cry.

When you thought I wasn’t looking I saw that you
cared, and I wanted to be everything that I could be.

When you thought I wasn’t looking I learned most of
life’s lessons that I need to know to be a good and
productive person when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn’t looking I looked at you and
wanted to say,’Thanks for all the things I saw when
you thought I wasn’t looking’


Each of us (parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, teacher, friend)
influences the life of a child.

How will you touch the life of someone today? Just by
sending this to someone else, you will probably make
them at least think about their influence on others.
Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply.
Speak kindly.  
Leave the rest to God.

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My child did not come with a manual

My child did not come with a manual

Frederick van Wyk [04 June 2009] – www.planetparent.co.za

When we were young children we thought our parents were super human.  Their word was like the word of God.  They could do nothing wrong and we felt so safe in their arms.  This picture of cause changed as we became teenagers.  Suddenly nothing mom or dad said was ?cool? anymore.  In fact they were so uncool we didn?t want to be seen with them when they dropped us off at school.

This changed somewhat as we entered adulthood and somehow they gained some of the respect that was lost, but only for a while.  Thereafter in facing the grown-up world we had to cope with the responsibilities of adulthood and we realized that life was not the fairy tale we thought it would be, or we felt ill-equipped to deal with the realities of life.  We started to blame our parents and tried to discover what they did wrong.  With all the pop psychology around we found enough evidence to proof our point:  ?They did not do a good job when it came to raising us!?

Of cause the wheel turns when we become parents and suddenly mom and dad knew more than we thought.  When our kids present us with daily challenges we find ourselves saying to the child:  ?I?m sure I lost the manual that came with you.  Cause you truly do not operate (or function) the way I anticipated.?  But looking for that manual is not in written or printed form.  It does exist though.  The manual is right in front of you!  Your child is the manual.  It has a heartbeat.  It speaks and it runs around.

But looking at your two or three children you will see two or three different manuals.  The one?s ?mute button? is not situated where the other?s is.  The ?stop? button also works differently in the case of both your children.  But we have to consult the manual for that specific child when we are dealing with him.   The manual is read with much care and effort and much of it is written ?between the lines.  It also has to be studied over years.  And just when you think you got the hang of it, the rules change and you have to change your approach.  That?s the beauty of being human and being a parent.

So how do we consult the manual?  We listen.  We observe.  We try and see what works.  We listen to other parents and try out what they try.  And we adjust.  And we try a complete new method with what our child teaches us works best for him.  One can make a huge mess with raising a kid when one disregards the manual and put all one?s own expectations, fears and resentment on the child.  If one exposes him to all the sports one thinks he should do, and if one keeps him away from all the things that one dislikes, or if one scolds him for not wearing a jersey when one is cold, disregarding his own warm body.  Then we will make a mess as a parent.  But listening to my child takes time.  Expecting certain things from him according to my own reference is much less time consuming.  And life CAN be so busy.

In my former articles for PlanetParent I talked about non-directive play and how parents can use play to understand their child better and build a stronger relationship.  Non-directive play is a tool used with kids between 2 and 12 years old. It is used by psychologists, and parents can use it too (filial therapy).  One skill used in non-directive play is called tracking.  This skill is however used in the time set aside by the parent to be with his child as he plays.

With the toys set out, the parent let the child take the lead.  As the child goes about his/her actions the parent makes a running commentary of what the child is doing WITHOUT criticizing in any way.  One would say something like: ?You are now filling that bucket with sand.  And you make sure that its covers the bucked to the brim (that is if the child is doing it).?  Or ?You decided that you want to play cowboys and crooks now and I must be the crook (if he requested you to).?

Never in the play do you prescribe to the child what he should do, or show him a better way.  You just follow and reflect to the child what he is doing.  Of cause this is only possible if the child is playing within the limits of the play rules.  See my former article on setting boundaries.

Part of the tracking is to say things that promote the child?s confidence.  ?You did that just the way you wanted? and ?You managed to cut out the picture all by yourself?.  As you comment on what the child is doing, you convey to the child that you see and hear what he is doing.  He gets the message that what he is doing is important and it counts.  He realizes that he has value.

The parent also reflects the child?s feelings without judgment.  In the play the parent can say:  ?You are very angry because that lion ate the girl, and you decided to teach him a lesson by hitting him over the head with the hammer?, or ?You are really scared the ?goggos? will come and get you so you decided to bury them in the sand and put the bucket over them.?  In reflecting your child?s emotions without judgment and prescription, your child feels safe to express his feelings and consequently finds a solution.  How will he find a solution?  By letting your child play and you being there tracking what he does.

Tracking in non-directive play is one of the skills we can use as parents and so ?read? our manual.  As they play they open windows to their souls and we can learn how to understand and help them better.  Let?s consult those manuals for it will make our lives easier and our children?s too.

Frederick is part of our expert panel and would be happy to answer any questions regarding play therapy.

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Teach Your Child How to Count

Teach Your Child How to Count  by www.teachkidshow.com

Teaching your children to count can actually be one of the easiest educational factors to teach your children, seriously. Perhaps different from what you may have heard, when counting becomes an everyday way of life you?ll find you don?t even have to spend a moment teaching. Sometimes even simple processes can seem complex and frustrating.

Counting is the first math concept that is taught in school, next to number recognition. And this process can begin to be taught as early on as two. It just all depends on how you see every day events at home. With a start like that your child will have no problem walking into Kindergarten being able to count to twenty, whether that be free count or object counting.

Even when your child is a baby you can count fingers and toes while you are bathing them, changing them, or communicating with them. You can also start at this age by introducing fun little counting books.

With preschoolers, make every day activities and events a counting exercise, the best way to learn is when you don?t even realize you?re learning something at all. Whatever you are doing there is something to be counting, at dinner ?how many people are eating; one, two, three, four, etc. So, how many cups do we need? Four. Then count the cups, plates spoons or forks, etc. When you are driving, ?How many signs on the side of the road are there from here to grandmas? Count the signs as you are traveling. In the doctor?s office, ?how many people are waiting in front of us? The possibilities are endless, you can incorporate a counting exercise with everything you do.

Your child will pick counting up within weeks and begin counting things just like you. Expose your child to online or printed worksheets that incorporate counting and the counting process. Usually when children are in this age group you don?t want to go beyond 20, as this tends to be confusing for children. Unless your child is advanced in the counting game then you can absolutely introduce the counting of ten?s to your children.

Main points to address:

* Incorporate games and math worksheets into your child?s life.
* Make every day activities a counting exercise.

Grades K-3rd

Once your child can count 1-20, there are a variety of other counting patterns you can teach them. Although they will learn these in school, it?s always fun when children begin to teach something and your bright child already knows how to do it.

Normally children learn to count in twos, fives and tens between 1st and 2nd grade, many school districts vary in teaching methods and grades for various subtopics of main topics therefore, this could be off from your district as well. For a fun way of teaching this, you can start with 2?4?6?8 who do we appreciate? (Your child?s name twice) Yeah? (again say your child?s name). Sing in a more rhythmic manner when you are going through the various number patterns. 5?10?15?20?25?30?etc. emphasizing the remainder of the ten?s spots.

You can also introduce the process of counting to 100. When explaining this concept to your children write down the numbers 1 through 9. While you count each number that you write down. Go through the teens, 13, 14, 15, etc., and show them once they get to twenty they just add the number 1-9 to the twenty, 21, 22, 23, 24, etc., once they get to the nines, such as twenty-nine it becomes another set of numbers. The next set of numbers are consecutive to the last set. Sense the last set was twenty the next set is three (thirty) and on and on. While you are explaining about the sets of numbers, count to a hundred pointing to each number for the sets. For example point to the two while you are counting 20-29. Explain it that simple and your kids will get it, that?s simple.

Main points to address:

* Introduce counting with twos, fives, and tens.
* Explain the process of counting 1-100.

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Petro Pretorius [14 May 2009] –

1st baby: You begin wearing maternity clothes as soon as your doctor confirms your pregnancy.
2nd baby: You wear your regular clothes for as long as possible.
3rd baby: Your maternity clothes ARE your regular clothes.

Preparing for the Birth:
1st baby: You practice your breathing religiously.
2nd baby: You don’t bother because you remember that last time breathing didn’t do a thing.
3rd baby : You ask for an epidural in your eighth month.
The Layette :
1st baby: You pre-wash newborn’s clothes, color coordinate them, and fold them neatly in the baby’s little bureau.
2nd baby: You check to make sure that the clothes are clean and discard only the ones with the darkest stains.
3rd baby: Boys can wear pink, can’t they?
1st baby: At the first sign of distress–a whimper, a frown–you pick up the baby.
2nd baby: You pick the baby up when her wails threaten to wake your firstborn.
3rd baby: You teach your three-year-old how to rewind the mechanical swing.
1st baby: If the dummy falls on the floor, you put it away until you can go home and wash and boil it.
2nd baby: When the dummy falls on the floor, you squirt it off with some juice from the baby’s bottle..
3rd baby: You wipe it off on your shirt and pop it back in.
1st baby: You change your baby’s nappy every hour, whether they need it or not.
2nd baby: You change their nappy every two to three hours, if needed.
3rd baby: You try to change their nappy before others start to complain about the smell or you see it sagging to their knees.
1st baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics, Baby Swing, and Baby Story Hour.
2nd baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics.
3rd baby: You take your infant to the supermarket and the dry cleaner.

Going Out:
1st baby: The first time you leave your baby with a sitter, you call home five times.
2nd baby: Just before you walk out the door, you remember to leave a number where you can be reached…
3rd baby: You leave instructions for the sitter to call only if she sees blood.
At Home:
1st baby : You spend a good bit of every day just gazing at the baby.
2nd baby: You spend a bit of everyday watching to be sure your older child isn’t squeezing, poking, or hitting the baby.
3rd baby: You spend a little bit of every day hiding from the children.
Swallowing Coins:
1st child: When first child swallows a coin, you rush the child to the hospital and demand x-rays.
2nd child: When second child swallows a coin, you carefully watch for the coin to pass.
3rd child: When third child swallows a coin, you deduct it from his pocket money.
God’s reward for allowing your children to live!

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Petro Pretorius [08 February 2010] –

The following was emailed to me and the author is unknown.

It has been proved that showing affection strengthens growth and positive development in people. We all need physical contact to feel good, and one of the most important ways of physical contact between two people is hugging.

Who does not need cuddles in this society that is becoming ever colder, more competitive, that compels us to be more individualistic, more personal-goal oriented…?

When we hug, we receive an energy feedback. We bring life to our senses and reaffirm the trust in our senses. Sometimes we CANNOT find the right words to express how we feel, and then hugs are the best way to say it.

We need four hugs a day to survive, eight to preserve ourselves, and twelve to grow. A hug makes you feel good. The skin is the biggest organ we have and it needs a lot of love. A hug can cover an extensive part of the skin and provides the massage you need. It is also a way to communicate. It can convey messages for which you have no words. We can always resort to the universal language of hugs.

The Power of Hugs

Hugging achieves many things that you might never have imagined. For example:

It feels good
It dissolves solitude
It defeats fear
It opens the door to sensations
It improves self-esteem (wow, he or she wants to hug me!)
It encourages altruism (I can’t believe it, but I want to hug that person)
It delays aging (those who hug age more slowly)
It helps reduce appetite (we eat less when we are nourished with hugs and when our arms are wrapped around others)

More benefits from hugs:

It is environmentally friendly (it does not damage the environment)
It preserves energy
It is portable and requires no additional machinery
It does not require a special place to do it (an adequate place to hug)
In any place such as a conference room, a church or a football field
It makes happy days even happier
It gives us a sense of belonging
It fills the void in our lives
It is still effective even after the hugging has finished
It strengthens and increases our ability to share
It harmonizes the hearts of friends
Hugging creates some form of addiction to tenderness, to altruism, to happiness…

Just as laughter, it is highly contagious! Whatever your hug may be, let it always come from the heart, not from the mind.
Come up with new ways of hugging.
Give your hugs interesting or funny names.
Become a full-time “hug therapist.”
Be always ready to offer a hug to someone.
Observe the other person and always be careful of his or her personal space.
Do not try to impose your vision or philosophy on others.
A hug does and says very much.

Hug your friend, your loved one, your kids, your parents, your pet…

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