Is it okay to lie to your kids?
Is okay to lie to your kids?
As a parent, I've thought about this question a lot but I would prefer to restate it:
Is it okay to tell white lies?
When I was a child, I was not always careful to tell the whole truth. I learned the lesson quickly. Telling the truth is essential to our credibility and more importantly to building trust with others. So, I made a decision early on that I do not lie in areas that matter. My criteria here is simple. Will the person be upset if they find out later that I was lying. If they find out later and they laugh or they find out later and don't mind, then the lying is probably ok.
So, what do I do when my child asks me if I did any drugs in high school, if I ever cheated on a test, or if I ever stole anything from a store? On these questions, my answer will be: "Stealing is wrong. Cheating is wrong. Drugs are illegal, etc." I won't go into details about my past. If I call out what I didn't do, then I am making it clear what I probably did do. If I avoid these issues until my child is an adult, then the child will not be influenced by any actions that I made in the past and I am not lying. I think that it is our right as parents to choose when we talk about certain details. We have a great influence on our children so it is important that we don't talk about certain topics before a child is ready.
Now, when my eldest child turned 3 years old and he asked if Santa Claus really exists. For me, this was very easy to answer: "Yes, Santa Claus exists and if you are very good, he will bring you presents on Christmas eve."