Lying is exactly what the Ad Council suggests parents do to motivate kids. The Ad Council is playing public service announcements to educate parents on “creative” ways to help their kids eat healthier and stay active. The pubic service announcements are created in partnership with the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). All of this is intended to support the First Lady’s Let’s Move campaign.
One of the Ad Council radio ads is titled Silly Kids. The actress in the ad does not admit to lying to the children about vegetables, but there is certainly enough information to suggest that they recommend that parents lie to kids to get them to eat vegetables. Why couldn’t the ad council simply stick to truth? One truly creative way to encourage kids to eat vegetables is for parents to involve kids in growing their own vegetables. Our oldest son Riley willingly ate his first onion when he planted, watered, and harvested the onion himself. Our little garden only takes up a section of the yard 8 feet wide by 8 feet long.
Check out this 30 second Ad Council video titled Wallet. The audio plays on the radio in our local market. This video takes away all doubt about whether the Ad Council is actually advocating that parents lie to their kids.
The bottom line is that lying should never be used to parent your kids. Lying damages the trust in the relationship between the parent and the child. Trust is priceless as your children get older. Parents should strive to build and maintain trust. Your children will more likely to trust your advice and turn to you for help when they face increasing complicated situations in their life related to drugs, sex, and alcohol. Your knowledge, experience, and wisdom will serve your children much better than anything you have to offer. Tell you kids the truth and give your kids the gift of a strong trusting relationship.