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It's Okay to Lie to Your Child (Sometimes)

Do you lie to your kids? What lies do you tell? And do they really count as lies? 

Let me put an example here. "If you don't finish your food, you wouldn't be as tall as Papa". OR "If you hit your teddy, it will cry". For the first lie, I would say, it is partially true because eating food is important for our babies to grow up. However, even if our babies never eat a piece of Lauki, they will still probably grow big like their fathers. As per a research, lies are common among parents around the world. Point to be noted here is we teach our kids that lying is a bad thing, but we also believe it's okay to lie to them under certain circumstances. But do you think it is okay to lie to our babies? Are little white lies okay?

As a mother, I care what I am saying to my son and as a toddler what he is going to understand. So I am not always truthful and upfront with him. Every day when I make my tot sleep timely, I explain to him that next morning we have to catch our office bus and for that, he needs to sleep timely. Otherwise, we'll miss the bus. But at the same time, I tell him that all the babies of this world have slept so he should also sleep timely. The fact is, not all the kids sleep at 9 PM. Some of them stay longer. Some even sleep at this time. Then we have lie versus a probability. "If you jump from the bed, you'll hurt yourself and then you need to take distasteful medicine and injection." There is for sure a chance the kid may fall and will hurt his head and yet another chance he might end up in taking injection but it’s not a fact. Don’t forget Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. Or the Tooth Fairy?

I remember an old story about telling the truth bluntly. A king called a few astrologers in his darbaar and asked one of them to read horoscope about his future. The astrologer studied the position of planets and consulted the Shastras and finally gave his verdict:Maharaja, all your relatives will die before you, you will perform their funerals with your own hands. Hearing this, the king became furious as he was very much attached to his relatives and could not tolerate such a verdict. The king immediately ordered that the poor astrologer should be given imprisonment for life. Then the king asked another astrologer same thing. He found that the previous astrologer’s readings were absolutely correct. So, he tactfully put the same truth the other way round. He said:Maharaja, you have a very long life. You will live longer than all your relatives. This also meant that all his relatives would die while the king was alive. The king was highly pleased with the astrologer and gave him lots of money and precious things just because his way of putting the truth was delightful.

Therefore it is said that even while telling the truth, one should tell it in a pleasant manner. A truth should not be told in a way that will hurt the feelings of others. If it is told so, it is identical to untruth only. Your speech should be truthful yet pleasant and beneficial. I do believe we should be raising our kids to understand honesty and importance of telling the truth. Because it feels good with honestly and they know they are doing the right thing. After all, we don’t want to teach our kids to lie which will turn into miserable things in their lives. But sometimes the truth is stretched to bring smiles on our kids’ faces or to make our lives a little easier.

I feel lying can at times creates magic for our kids. It can make them stop crying even after getting hurt. Changing the truth can make them feel joyful even when they created a mess. How can we refrain ourselves witnessing sparkling eyes of our kids when Santa Claus puts a gift for them? Everything has its time in our kids’ lives and someday for sure, we can explain to them that accidents can actually kill people or any other harsh reality of life. But till they are kids, let them be like kids.
So, is little lying really a bad thing? I don't think so..
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Comments

  1. I admit I have lied a few times but I try consciously not to. Not sure how long I will be able to hold on..hehe.

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  2. I think we all lie many times with our kids. Sometimes to make them eat something new or to protect them from some thing. It's ok if it is for their benefit and if it does not have many implications.

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  3. My mother in law keeps telling my son that whenever he lies she is able to see two red lines on his forehead. He really believes her and I don't mind !

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  4. I think if parents lie about certain things like you mentioned, santa claus or tooth fairy etc. its okay. These are not going to harm our kids in any way. But as they grow we should be careful as they follow parents in everything.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Well, now that’s an interesting topic !
    Loved the way you have captured yet another aspect of parenting!

    ReplyDelete

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