scare tactic

In your reading, Kwasi Wiredu described how stories have been used as a scare tactic to keep children and the weak-minded in line. One example he uses is Akan parents telling their children not to sing while bathing; otherwise, their mother will die. (Wiredu says this is for the child’s well-being so that he or she did not accidently drink the dirty water and possibly get sick.)

Is it morally reasonable to mislead or lie to a child for his or her own well-being? Is this sort of parental behavior a necessary “tool” for guiding a child to do the right thing until he or she can figure out what is right or wrong on his or her own?

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Many cultures use the idea of Santa Claus making a list of who is naughty/nice as a way to manage the behaviors of children (because those children on the “nice list” receive presents). Do you feel that this parental behavior is morally reasonable?

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