Respond to “Lies We Tell Kids” by Paul Graham

After reading Paul Graham’s “Lies we tell kids”, it revealed to me the most common lies that parents tell their children, and the reason that led them into ling to their children. Reading “Lies we tell kids” makes me reminisce about the times where I would ask questions that would consider inappropriate for my age, and how my parents tried to avert the question by changing the subject, when that did not work they would tell me something along the lines “Wait until your older” or “You don’t’ need to know about it now”.  Being young and naïve I would accept those answer, and would gradually forget about it.

When we are young we tend to be more naïve and innocent, we almost believe everything that people tell us, especially our parent. To majority of us, our parent is our role model, the people we looked up to. We would tend to believe everything they teach us, they are the people that taught us how to differentiate rights and wrongs. It gives you the illusion that the people that are teaching us theses moral are also applying it into their daily life, which make you trust them. When you have someone’s trust it’s easier to lie since there’s a very high chance that they would believe you. This reminds me of a quote from Stephen King’s novel, Needful Things, “The trust of an innocent is a liar’s most useful tool”. Which is very true because without a child innocent trust, parents would not be able to lie to their children.

I understand from “Lie we tell kids” that parent would try to hide the real reason that they do not want their child to know about it at a young age. Although the reason that parent do not want their kids to be engage in sex is because they want them to avoid pregnancy at a young age and sexually transmitted disease, another reason would be that that it is a “universal taboo against sex with prepubescent children”. Considering that fact that parents strongly believe that kids have “lousy judgment”, if sex and drugs will “cloud one’s judgment” then they would believe that it would cause their “lousy judgment” to be even worse. Paul Graham mention “one of the symptom of bad judgment is believing you have good judgment”, this is one of my favorite lines in the passage, the reason being that I would be able to relate to it, most of us would believe the choices that we made are right, and in most cases what we think is right if most likely to be wrong, because of our poor judgment, this gives another reason for parents to lie to us.

In “Lies we tell kids” it reveals that one of the obvious reason why parent lie to their children is to preserve their innocent. To parent “innocent is also open-mindedness”, this is because parent want them to continue to gain knowledge. Like Paul Graham said “If you’re going to learn that the world is a brutal place of people trying to take advantage of one another, you’re better off learning it last.” This is one of the reasons that parent lie to their child is because they want to keep their child in the dark as long as they can, in order to protect them from the fact that “the world is a brutal place”.

To conclude, I think that “Lies we tell kids” is an amazing passage that enlightens us about the reason why we were lied to. Reading this passage change my opinion about parent lying to their kids, if they lie for the right intention I think that it would not be as bad as I would have thought before reading this passage.

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