A recent study reported by Forbes from the International Journal of Psychology shows Chinese parents tend to tell scare-the-hell-out-of-you lies more often than American parents, such as “Finish all your food or you’ll grow up to be short,” “If you don’t follow me, a kidnapper will come to kidnap you while I’m gone,” or ‘‘If you don’t behave, we will throw you into the ocean to feed the fish.’’
Nine-eight percent of parents in China admit to telling lies like those to their children, compared to 84% of those in the US, according to the report. Many Chinese parents said they think lying is “an effective tool for socializing children.” One Chinese parent said, ‘‘When teaching children, it is okay to use well-intentioned lies. It can promote positive development and prevent your child from going astray.”
The study says there were no significant difference between parents in China and the US in making untrue statements to make their children feel happy. However, 21% Chinese parents versus 7% American parents pulled the lie of ‘‘Your pet went to live on your uncle’s farm where he will have more space to run around” when their pet had actually passed away.
The study interviewed 114 American parents and 85 Chinese parents who had at least one child three years old or older. 77% of the participants in the US reported having a college degree, while 29% of the Chinese parents reported having a college degree.
See complete report in Forbes.