5 Times It's Totally Fine to Lie to Your Kids
Lying to our kids is a time-honoured tradition. Our parents did it to us, their parents did it to them, and on and on it goes. There are many reasons we lie to our kids. We lie to protect them, to encourage them, to foster their strong imagination and to give ourselves a break!
Although we teach our kids that honesty is the best policy, we can be the biggest hypocrites. So, when is it okay to lie to our kids?
There are a lot of opinions on this matter, and every parent and child is different. It’s a good idea to think back to your own childhood when deciding when to fib and what to fib about.
How did you feel when you learned the truth and found out your parents had been lying? Think about the ways you can soften the blow, and how to make sure your kids don’t lose their trust in you.
These are the instances where it can be entirely appropriate to lie to your kids.
1. White Lies about that White-Bearded Man
This is the big one. The one many of us remember finding out about. Learning the truth about Santa Claus can really do a number on a kid.
But it’s a valuable part of the whimsy of childhood. It is entirely okay to lie about the existence of Santa Claus. But there is a right way and a wrong way to handle it.
Psychologists have confirmed that mishandling this one can have a profound effect on your relationship with your child.
Telling your little hell-raiser that there is a man that sees everything they do and makes a note of it may be a good way of controlling them, but it can understandably make a kid a wee bit anxious.
So, it’s a good idea to be reasonable with the Santa lie. Teaching them that Old Saint Nick is more than a judge-y old man who lives in the North Pole is key.
Having an understanding of the Christmas spirit can also soften the blow. When they finally start asking questions, tell them the truth but explain why the Santa Claus myth is important.
If they understand the value of the belief, they will also be less likely to rat on you to their younger siblings.
2. Dealing with Death with Fibs
Death can be tricky. You don’t want to shelter your children, but you do want to protect them. It’s a bit of a Catch-22. It sometimes depends on age, but it can always be valuable to have this conversation.
The lies that are okay to tell about death will be the easiest ones to tell. You may want to tell your little one that Fluffy has gone to a better place, but being honest doesn’t mean you have to tell them that the better place Fluffy went to was under the wheels of a 4WD!
3. Keeping Secrets to Soften a Divorce
Divorce can be messy, even in the most amicable situations. The best way to broach this topic is to have a family meeting and a bit of a Q and A session.
This requires making a game plan with the soon-to-be ex beforehand. You can’t always be entirely honest; emotions run hot in these situations, but you have to be cool, calm and collected when discussing this issue.
Needless to say, lying about why you are getting divorced is completely acceptable.
4. Quelling Little Anxieties with Little Lies
Lying is a good way to deal with a kid who has watched a little too much of the news, or found out about something a little too traumatic for them to properly deal with.
If your kid has developed an irrational fear about sharks, (thanks Spielberg!) telling them a little white lie about Great White Sharks is not a bad way of quelling their fears.
5. Creative Stories about Babies and S-E-X
Having “the talk” is an important part of growing up, but kids always seem to ask these questions at the most inopportune times, like while you’re doing the weekly shop in the supermarket.
Resist the urge to pick up a cucumber for a makeshift Sex Ed lesson, as hard as that may be (innuendo intentional).
Lying about where babies come from is reasonable up to a point. It depends on their age and maturity, but coming up with a creative story about babies is generally okay.
As for what mummy and daddy where doing in bed when the kids barged in: Lie, lie, and lie some more!
What have you lied to the kids about? Share your funny stories in the comment section below! Find more handy hints and advice on the Bobux blog today!