Parents today imagine that there is a trade off between being strict and being permissive; and that the benefit of permissiveness is honesty, that they are going to hear the truth and not be kept in the dark so you'll be able to help. The science says that those permissive parents do not hear more truth from their kids and the best way to hear truth is to set a few rules, consistently enforce them...and [be willing as] parents to negotiate occasionally. -- Po Bronson
Great interview with Po Bronson on NPR. Caught it via the most emailed stories podcast. It was one of those... wish someone had told me sooner moments.
Parenting Tips: Praise Can Be Bad; Lying is Normal.
i'd encourage you to listen to the entire thing, I was particularly interested in the bit on "why kids lie?"
Kids by the age of 4 will experiment with lying... it's a sign of their nacent intelligence, it's more complicated to hold in your head as a child the truth and an alternative reality... it's normative... the question is what do we do with it over time?... -- Po Bronson