Fatherhood²: Should we Lie to our Children?
“What does everyone think about the whole Santa thing? I’m not sure I’m comfortable with lying to my children…”
Whilst it provided an initial chuckle (as I imagined Santa adding said poster to his “non believer” list), it got me thinking about whether or not this poster was actually serious. Can there actually be a parent who DOESN’T lie to their child, even if only once in a while?!
I know that sounds callous, but come on – surely nobody truly believes that a child’s life is made somehow better by being completely brutally honest with them, right from day one?! That’s got to be one shell-shocked child!
Let me give you some examples, to illustrate my point.
Do you REALLY want to give a small child the truthful answer to these questions?
“Mummy, do you like this drawing I did for you?”
“Will the tooth fairy really give me money for my tooth?”
“Daddy, will Santa Claus REALLY put me on his naughty list if I don’t wash my hands?”
“Mummy, why do I have to eat the crusts on my sandwich – I don’t WANT curly hair!”
“Why shouldn’t I say the naughty words I heard daddy saying at the TV?”
“Can I live with you forever mummy, even when I’m 50?”
…and of course the classic:
“Mummy, what WERE you and Daddy doing on the bed when I came in last night?”
I guess you might make an agreement with yourself (or your partner) about what constitutes a “harmless” lie, and what you should be more truthful about – though I’m not sure my wife and I have had this conversation yet, four years in.
What do YOU think constitutes a reasonable lie to tell your child, and where you draw the line?
Let me know in the comments below! And make sure you’re truthful…