The value of honesty


one day at a time
This morning, it seems that honesty is a key topic on this forum. I used to take the idea of honesty for granted, but no more. Watching my Difficult Child lie to my face over and over and over again...and feeling myself being off balance all the time because of wanting so much to believe him...but finally learning I couldn't, ever, for years...took its toll on me. But when I started reading and thinking more about honesty, I realized there are other people in my life that aren't honest too, and at times I am not honest myself. With myself or with other people. Today I believe that honesty is the bedrock of any relationship. But honesty also doesn't mean getting in people's faces all the time with the "truth." It's enough to know it ourselves, silently. We don't have to prove it. That next step took me time as well and still does.

Being honest in life is true freedom.




Well-Known Member
I have a lot of experience with liars. And also people who live in a world of their own making.

I had to tell my hubby that he needs to take anything said by my step-dad or step siblings with a grain of salt. Some people lie when the truth is better.

I don't call everyone on their lies. That would take all day.

But I won't participate in it, or perpetuate it.

I won't be played for a fool.


Well-Known Member
My 11 year old started at the High School a few weeks ago.

We've just had our first upset as I discovered that she's been going to the store near the school and spending her lunch money on rubbish instead of buying a meal in the school canteen. When I asked her about this she blatantly lied, with a straight face, until her dad asked again and she eventually admitted the truth. That's the end of money for food. She can take a packed lunch of sandwiches and fruit.

I'm more upset about the lying than the waste of lunch money.

Where do they learn this lying behaviour?

Is it in the high schools of the UK and US?
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Well-Known Member
It starts way before that. Little kids lie to escape punishment. They tell their imagination lives out loud, and for some kids who have a very rich imagination, when people buy into their spoken imaginary play it gives them a sense of power. They become masters at engineering their lives to suit different people in their lives. Sometimes kids lie to save face, or to not disappoint. So many different reasons.


Well-Known Member
My ex was a liar. It was pathological. He'd lie when the truth would get him OUT of trouble! He lied about everything.

I hate a liar. I hate a liar more than anything else in the world. My son was raised knowing this.

Jabber and I are so honest that literally we'll get in the car from the store, realize we didn't pay for a roll of paper towels, and go back in to pay. (Store employees don't know how to act when you go in with a 99 cent roll of paper towels to pay.) Our son has seen us do this. The closest thing we've done to lying is calling in sick when we really just need a day off.

We always told him not to lie. That if he did something wrong and was caught, we'd punish him yes, but if he lied about it, we'd punish him for both the act and the lie. When my son was about 13 or 14, maybe, I found out my best friend had forged my name on a credit card application. I had to press charges to get out of the bill. If she'd told me the truth, (which I believe to be that she just really thought I'd never know, that she'd pay all the bills herself and she didn't think it would hurt anything) I likely would not have pressed charges. But she lied. Told me her husband did it (I know her writing), even tried to tell me I'd told her she could! It was the lie that hurt, really broke my heart. My son knew that.

Still, he lies. He lies about everything. When we found the missing money last year, we put the bottle on our bed and called him in...he looked blankly at us and said, "What's this?" Perfectly straight face. Academy Award material. He still insisted that he did it "a long time" before we noticed...though we had the date we'd last counted it marked down!

That he is such a liar is my biggest disappointment.


Well-Known Member
LOL. I am also a pretty honest person. What I don't understand is why people feel the need to lie? My kids do it all the time. I swear everything they tells me requires further investigation. ARGH!


Well-Known Member
I think there is a big difference between an occasional lie to get out of trouble (like nlj's daughter) and the lying our DCs tend to do, when you can't believe a word they say without verifying it.

Is it a personality trait? A habit? Some mysterious Difficult Child-ness we don't yet understand?


one day at a time
In thinking about this some more, and in talking with my sister this morning about the ongoing challenge of my dad, who is more and more difficult in his old age (83)...I think it's more disturbing to me that a seemingly well-adjusted person would feel the need to embellish, exaggerate, fudge, white-lie...whatever you want to call it...on an ongoing basis than it was when my Difficult Child would lie about whether the sun was out or not. That is part of addiction, and I could understand that.

With people like my dad, all I can figure is that he is so insecure that the truth just isn't enough. He truly lives in a fantasy world where his nieces and nephews (people in their mid 60s now) are super accomplished and super successful and because they drive a Mercedes they are...good. No, great.

It is so easy to see right through him and it's so sad to think that this is how he views the world.

He honestly cannot deal with the truth.

At my son's wedding, when longtime relatives were here, it came out that a recently deceased niece had been a "horrible alcoholic." (her brother's words, not mine). My mom told my dad this, and he truly could not assimilate this information and got mad about it.

He cannot handle the truth about himself or anybody else.

Now, that is sad right there. It has made me doubt everything he says, and in fact, it makes me suspect of his character. What kind of person has to have everybody perfect around them, and cannot ever be questioned with the simplest of questions (if you do he get furious) and embellishes virtually everything he says?

Anyway, I'm glad I live 10 hours from him.