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<a href="Father And Daughter by Petr Kratochvil”>

Image by Petr Kratochvil

I have made a conscious decision not to lie to my kids. Having said that, there have been a few occasions when I have lied… a little. There are just some things kids don’t need to know… stuff that is way too much information.

An example? Ok. Men, block your ears. Some one once told me of a mum who was busted wearing a tampon by her 4 year old. She must have been nude and the little string was poking out. Her curious daughter, thinking that her mum was some kind of cool puppet or something, asked what that little string was for. Now, what would you have said?

The mother, being an honest kinda gal, started to tell her little girl about the joys of womanhood. I.e that once a month women bleed and you catch it with something like a wad of rolled up tissues and this goes up into the nether regions to stem the flow! Can you imagine the face on the little girl? White, ashen skin, eyes wide and a little teary, dreading the day she becomes a woman.

I had a less full on experience with my son who saw something unmentionable in the toilet. Just a little tiny bit. He asked what it was… and I, super-honest parent that I am, lied to him. I said it was toilet cleaner. Now, I was operating on adrenalin here and I could have distracted him but I was so horrified that a lie seemed appropriate.

I also tell my kids that everything on TV is pretend. Which is kinda true. I just don’t want them to get too freaked out about the unpleasant aspects of this world before they have to.

This is a story from the incredible life of Concentration Camp survivor, Corrie Ten Boom. An excerpt from her autobiography:

“(From a ten year old child) “Father, what is sexsin?” He turned to look at me, as he always did when answering a question, but to my surprise he said nothing. At last he stood up, lifted his traveling case from the rack over our heads, and set it on the floor. “Will you carry it off the train, Corrie?” he said. “It’s too heavy,” I said. “Yes,” he said. “And it would be a pretty poor father who would ask his little girl to carry such a load. It’s the same way, Corrie, with knowledge. Some knowledge is too heavy for children. When you are older and stronger you can bear it. For now you must trust me to carry it for you.” And I was satisfied. More than satisfied – wonderfully at peace. There were answers to this and all my hard questions. For now I was content to leave them in my father’s keeping.”

There are just some things our kids cannot understand or deal with at such a young age. Ultimately I think lying to your kids is wrong and teaches them to lie to get out of uncomfortable situations (slap on wrist for me) but I think blatant honesty is not always helpful either.

What do you think?