Honest Consequences

Responsible Decision-Making

Family Resources on Honest Consequences

Lesson Topic

Students will discuss the consequences of lying to people we care about and rebuilding trust in a relationship as a result of lying.

Essential Question

What are the consequences of lying?

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Honest Consequences – Chioma

If this lesson was used in the classroom: Students analyzed the consequences of lying-specifically lying to a parent. In class students discussed how lying (particularly to parents) can have a negative effect on a relationship. In groups students participated in a discussion about lying based on the television show “To Tell the Truth” (where contestants intentionally lie to try and fool a panel of judges) to focus on how lying can damage relationships.

Getting Ready for the Conversation

The video for this module features a youth named Chioma who went to a movie theater and saw a movie she was not supposed to go and see; she told her mother she went and saw a different movie showing at the same theater. Chioma felt guilty and eventually told her mother the truth. Because we hear that Chioma and her mother frequently have had conversations about the importance honesty, Chioma is learning that is important to be honest.

Conversation notes:
Surveys show that almost all teenagers admit to lying sometimes. An expert, Dr. Tim Jordan, also mentions in the video that lying is common among teenagers and is not always a problem, but also that sometimes teenagers lie because it has been modeled to them by their own parents.

Jonathan Foiles offers these thoughts on lying in Psychology Today:

Healthy Children article on lying:

Constructive Conversation Starters

The first item is for follow-up after viewing the lesson video and participating in class activities.

What were some of the comments about the untrue statements that were made in class? Why do you think Chioma admitted to lying to her mother? Why did she think admitting she lied was the right thing to do?

What is the connection between honesty and close, meaningful relationships? Why do you think honesty is important in relationships?

Describe how you value honesty in relationships.

Is it okay to be dishonest with someone you do not know? Why or why not? Discuss examples.

Why do people feel guilty about being dishonest within a relationship?

School to Home Resources on Honest Consequences

Lesson Plan

Feeling guilty

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Chioma says, “I went to bed and I was just so guilty, I hate it when I lie to my parents because I feel so guilty that I have to tell them and it keeps haunting me until I let it out”. Why do you think Chioma felt she had to tell her mother she had lied? Why do people feel guilty when they lie to people they care about? Do you believe that it is natural to feel guilty about lying to parents? Why or why not?

Feeling better after telling the truth

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Chioma’s mother says, “If she [Chioma] enjoys that feeling on the inside when she does what’s right, then that will propel her to keep going that way”. There is no mention of whether Chioma’s mother punished Chioma for lying to her this time.Do you think Chioma’s mother should have punished her? Why or why not? Do you think parents should punish their children for lying? Why or why not?

Sometimes lying has been modeled

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Dr. Tim Jordan says, “Parents lie about their kids being a certain age so their kids get a cheaper price for the movies. There’s a lot of little examples that kids see where adults fudge”. Why does Dr. Jordan say that parents sometimes encourage teenagers to lie? Do you think he is right? Why or why not? What are some examples?

Internal decision making

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Dr. Jordan says, “I want kids to be able to think through things internally because when they’re out in the world that’s when they [can do] most of their mischief; and so, they have to have their own internal justice system established. I think that comes from in the home, having a series of conversations over and over many years about right and wrong”. Do you think that Dr. Jordan would believe that Chioma’s guilty feeling was a good thing? Why or why not? What kinds of things do you need to do to earn the trust of your parents? Of your friends? Why is it important to avoid lying to people we care about?

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