Apparently you’re not supposed to lie to your children, according to experts cited in this article. Apparently we are shielding our kids from the harsh realities of the real world when we tell them a little fib, like saying that they did great at the recent school concert, or the proverbial “good try” that we all shout at our kids’ soccer/hockey/baseball/football games. We’re damaging the poor souls by perpetuating these types of fibs.
Are these “experts” for real?
I can’t imagine providing the sobering truth to my kids right from the outset, not offering them support or a loving nudge in the right direction. Because isn’t that what I’m supposed to do as a parent? Help them find their way, give them some encouragement (albeit based on a half-truth in some instances) and generally provide them loving support. We’re apparently supposed to open up the doors to the harsh realities of the real world as early as possible and where we might have said “you did a really good job on this drawing, Johnny,” we’re now obliged to say something like “Your picture is ugly and you’ll never make it as an artist.” Okay, perhaps not so harshly, but you get the point.
Image courtesy of http://insidepulse.com
Most of us lie to our kids all the time, in one way or another. Just think about toilet training and telling your child how great it is that they “made a deposit” in the toilet. We all know that using the toilet is not earth-shattering work, but saying so to your young child helps to facilitate the toilet training and the light at the end of the tunnel: no more Pull-Ups and better yet, no more “accidents.” So there is definitely a practical purpose to some of the lies that we tell, that’s for sure.
What about Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy? By these experts’ rationales, we should eliminate these folks as well, no? They say not to lie to our kids and lets face it, these lies are pretty big, as we perpetuate them for years. Do they damage our kids? Some would say “yes,” but many others would say “no,” as they provide a sense of fantasy and anticipation. We find out the truth at some point and I’d venture to guess that most of us are not scarred as a result.
In case it’s not completely clear in this post, I’m advocate of telling my kids “little white lies” for the sake of support, adventure and, sometimes, my sanity. Call me a bad parent, so be it.
What do you think? Do you lie to your kids? Why or why not? Should we stop lying to our kids? Can’t wait to hear your feedback.