We’re taught that it’s much better to tell the truth than to tell a lie. We grow up hearing sayings like “honesty is the best policy” and “the truth shall set you free.”
I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to lie.
I mean, come on, who among us hasn’t lied to our kids?
Now I’m not talking about just flat out lying about everything and anything. I’m talking about little lies to keep them safe or happy.
You know, like Santa Claus.
Simple and harmless, and nothing wrong with it.
You want your child to eat more food, but s/he insists on eating the same things over and over. What do you do?
Well, if you’re like me, you lie about what’s for dinner and tell your child it’s something they like.
For instance, my son doesn’t eat pork or steak – he won’t even try them – but when we say that pork is chicken or steak is venison, he eats. No harm done.
How about when your kid is very grabby and likes to touch everything. How do you stop that?
We say “don’t touch that, it’s hot.” Bam, no more touching things that he could get hurt on or break.
So you have a snack that you want to enjoy but your child is standing there drooling at your feet and saying no just makes him/her cry, what do you do?
Say “it’s adult food” or “no, you won’t like it, it’s yuck.” We even gave him something we know he doesn’t like so he would stop asking.
Mean I know, but we all do it.
At the store and your kid is screaming for a toy or treat? We’ve all been there and most likely have all said the same thing, “Sorry, we don’t have money for that right now” or “we’ll get it next time.”
You walk into a store and your child cries for something in another aisle, like asking for ice cream in the diaper section. You say “they’re all out” and go about your day.
It’s bedtime but your kid doesn’t want to go to sleep. Maybe s/he wants another bedtime story, a snack, a drink, sing, or just to play. How do we get them to bed?
Saying “it’s bedtime, Mommy and Daddy are going to bed too” works pretty well most of the time, but we all know we’re not going to bed.
Bribes, we all use them.
Your kid doesn’t want to clean, put on their shoes, eat their dinner, or listen to anything you’re saying…so you bribe them.
You offer them a new toy or a snack to get them to do what you want and hope that by the time it’s over they’ve forgotten the bribe.
As parents, we all do it – sometimes without even thinking. It doesn’t mean we’re doing a bad job.
Yes, you may be lying so you can eat the last cookie, but parenting is hard work and after a long day, you deserve that cookie!
We lie to keep our kids safe, healthy, and happy and sometimes we do it just to keep our sanity.
The main thing to remember is that as long as you’re not lying maliciously or just because you don’t want to be bothered with your children, IT’S OKAY.
There’s no reason to feel bad at the end of the day if your child goes to bed safe, happy, healthy, and loved.