Author Topic: Have you ever lied to your children?  (Read 12941 times)

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Carotte

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Re: Have you ever lied to your children?
« Reply #45 on: May 30, 2013, 01:12:24 PM »
- I can see on your forehead that you are lying. (Kids ended up telling lies with their hand against their forehead)

Got to love how kids think, in the end you did end up seing they were lying by their foreheads  ;D

Monsters under the bed. For Monsters under the bed, I developed Monster Spray. Monster spray was any spray bottle, filled with water, with a couple drops of anything pretty smelling in it. At night before said child would go to bed, Monster Spray was liberally sprayed around and under the bed, and then left in the bedroom for the child to use later, if they needed it.

Well, for kids to whom monsters are reals, telling them there's no monsters would be 'lying' to them.
There's no winning, tell them monsters under the bed don't exist, and at the same time tell them to be weary of strangers, unknown animals.. how are they going to trust you if they're left with some doubts?
So just like giving them tools to deal with strangers, being lost or animals, you give them tools to fight monsters under the bed.
I plan on anti-monster spray too :) (but since you have to be fail-proof with kids, explain that it works even if the bottle is empty or there's no bottle (like at a sleepover or at grandma) monsters talk and they've been told that little Jimmy is protected no matter what)

CakeBeret

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Re: Have you ever lied to your children?
« Reply #46 on: May 30, 2013, 01:21:27 PM »
My son is 3. I don't lie about anything important, though my answers are often vague in an attempt to keep things age appropriate.

Sometimes he gets on a talkative spree and asks me a billion questions about absolutely inane stuff. When I was a kid I had lots of questions and was *always* brushed off, which led me to stop trying to figure things out altogether. So when DS has tons of questions I try to answer them all. But eventually it makes me crazy and I have to put an end to the questioning. So if his 87th question is "why is that man's truck blue", I could say "because he wanted a blue truck" or "because the factory painted it blue," but I end up just saying "I don't know" and trying to distract him.

I am pretty ticked with my mom for lying to him, though. Mom had an old cat who did NOT get along with DS, and DS was pretty terrified of it. When the cat died, DH and I explained death to him. The next time we saw Mom, DS asked where the cat went, and Mom immediately said "He went to Kansas." Kansas? What? WHY? But it stuck with him, and now my poor DS seems to think that Kansas is a repository for all things undesirable and unwanted. For example, if he dislikes a toy he says he wants to take it to Kansas, or if I tell him that his old jeans are all gone he asks if they went to Kansas. It makes me absolutely crazy.
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ladyknight1

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Re: Have you ever lied to your children?
« Reply #47 on: May 30, 2013, 01:41:01 PM »
I do not lie to anyone. I have edited gory facts from what I have told DS when he was younger.  I don't want my DS to lie to me or DH, so we don't lie to him. DS is 15, so at this point, we are very honest about things, from finances to vacation plans.

My parents either sugarcoated everything, lied about it, or were in denial. It was very difficult to respect them once I realized. So many of the things were ridiculous, and it would have hurt less for them to have told us honestly at the time, instead of finding out later.

KitchenKitten

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Re: Have you ever lied to your children?
« Reply #48 on: May 30, 2013, 01:44:04 PM »
...
And gramma, that is IMO the best way to handle it.  My 6 yr old DD lost her wonderful father 2 yrs ago and always wants to mail him letters.  I tell her to write them and leave them on her window sill and the angels will come get them for her (yes, I save them all).  I would rather her be comforted by a fib than sad from the truth.

CRUD MONKEYS!... this has me in near-tears. What a touching and awesome way to help her handle her loss.

How wonderful of you to do this. Hopefully you'll give them to her in a gift box later when she graduates high school, college, gets married, or has her first child, or some point in her life. What a great storytelling opportunity for her own family later!

Sheila Take a Bow

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Re: Have you ever lied to your children?
« Reply #49 on: May 30, 2013, 02:07:48 PM »
I don't tell flat-out lies, but I definitely sugarcoat and leave out details.

My daughter's best friend, Ava, lives with her dad because her mom is a substance abuser who's been in and out of rehab for the last few years and at this time only has limited access to her daughter.  My daughter wants to know why we never see Ava's mom anymore.  I can tell her the truth, but at not-quite-5 my daughter won't get it.  So I've told her that Ava's mom is sick, and it's not a sickness that you can fix with medicine, and that until Ava's mom is better she won't be around much.  My daughter has asked about the sickness, and I've told her that it's complicated and hard to understand, but I haven't even tried to explain the nature of addiction.

So I could definitely be more forthcoming, and when my daughter is older I will be.  But for now, it's too hard for her to understand and I think I've explained as much as she needs to know for now.

lowspark

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Re: Have you ever lied to your children?
« Reply #50 on: May 30, 2013, 02:22:54 PM »
I want my DS to always be honest with me. How can I expect that if I am not always honest with him?

This. Exactly. I never lied to my kids for the very reason that I firmly believe that they will inevitably find out they've been lied to, whether it's tomorrow or in 10 years. And once they find out I've lied, how will they ever trust me again, and how can I expect them not to think it's perfectly OK to lie to me?

My kids are grown now and they really do appreciate that when I say something to them, they have no doubt that I fully believe it to be true.

And... age appropriate responses can easily be told without ever lying. Not telling someone everything there is to know about a subject is not lying. When my kids were little and asked difficult questions, I gave them very simplified responses. As they got older, they would ask for more information and I gave it. I figured if they were asking, then they were ready to hear the answer. And if they weren't really ready for too much info, the simple answer was enough.

lilfox

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Re: Have you ever lied to your children?
« Reply #51 on: May 30, 2013, 02:56:10 PM »
When DD asked me how the new baby will get out of my tummy, and how did she... I vaguely described how most births happened, but that for her (and new baby) the doctors put in a zipper, take the baby out, then zip me back up.  I didn't want to lie about the c-section process but I thought the zipper imagery would be less traumatic than cut-n-sew.

We usually tell her the truth about things, though age-appropriate and light on details.

Lynn2000

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Re: Have you ever lied to your children?
« Reply #52 on: May 30, 2013, 03:57:29 PM »
Interesting thread! There is such a spectrum of "not literal truth" responses. To me, a lot of things are metaphorical (which the child understands as literal at first), "playing pretend," age-appropriate simplifications, positive spins/being tactful, or even personal beliefs, rather than outright lies.

Adults have to deal with a lot of social nuances, polite fictions, omissions, and saying completely the opposite of what they're actually thinking (or not saying anything at all), in order to function in society; and I think this is something that can be taught to kids starting at a really young age. That we don't tell Billy his new shirt is ugly, for example, even when he asks--we can tell him it looks fine, or that we like a certain aspect of it, or even that we like another shirt better, but blurting out exactly what we think without moderation can be hurtful.

Even something like "monster spray"--the kid is afraid of something, and you are trying to help them not be afraid, using a simple method that they understand. There are lots of other options that could be used, but I can't imagine a child who would be comforted to be told the literal truth, "Actually, there are no monsters under your bed, so there's nothing to be afraid of." When their fears are something imaginary, I think an imaginary solution is a good response, because they will grow out of both ideas at the same time.

I think it would be dodgier to tell kids an imaginary solution to a real problem--like, they're scared of tornadoes, and you tell them this spray will protect them from tornadoes. I suppose it's not that bad if you also tell them concrete, practical things to do when a tornado comes, and teach them ways to deal with fear in general; but definitely just something silly and magical would be wrong, I think.

Also, to me something becomes dodgier if a parent is using a lie to scare their children into behaving--like, the parent has trouble getting the kid to go to bed on time, so the parent says, "If you aren't in bed by x:xx, the monsters will come out and get you!" The world is a scary enough place for kids, I don't think it's right to take advantage of that when there are other options a parent can use.

I feel uncomfortable with lies that seem more about a parent's convenience than their child's needs, or where it seems like the parent is smirking in the background at how "gullible" the child is. That's not respectful, IMO. I can see how occasionally it might be a last resort, a more creative version of, "Because I said so!" but I wouldn't be comfortable with someone who did it on a regular basis.
~Lynn2000

lowspark

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Re: Have you ever lied to your children?
« Reply #53 on: May 30, 2013, 04:08:42 PM »
"Because I said so" is actually a legitimate reason. Sometimes a child is too young or too emotional to be reasoned with or there is safety at stake and the child needs to do whatever-it-is quickly and the reasons can be explained later. There are lots of reasons why a parent might not need to justify the reasons for telling their child to do (or not do) something. And kids need to learn that. It's not something a kid likes to hear and in fact, I pretty much vowed never to say it to my own kids (before I had them!) but really, sometimes it's the only answer. Sometimes, the parent just has to be in charge and the kid just has to do as they're told. But that really has nothing to do with lying.

eta: fixed a grammatical error. sorry, it bugs me when I make them!
« Last Edit: May 30, 2013, 04:40:26 PM by lowspark »

CakeBeret

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Re: Have you ever lied to your children?
« Reply #54 on: May 30, 2013, 04:24:16 PM »
"Because I said so" is actually a legitimate reason. Sometimes a child is too young or too emotional to be reasoned with or there is safety at stake and the child needs to do whatever-it-is quickly and the reasons can be explained later. There are lots of reasons why a parent might not need to justify the reasons for telling their child to do (or not do) something. And kids need to learn that. It's not something a kid likes to hear and in fact, I pretty much vowed never to say it to my own kids (before I had them!) but really, sometimes it's the only answer. Sometimes, the parent just has to be in charge and the kid just has to do as their told. But that really has nothing to do with lying.

It is also a good end to the Neverending Chain of Why.

Time to get ready for bed.
Why?
It's 8:00 and that means it's bedtime.
Why?
So you can go to bed and have a good night's sleep.
Why?
So you can have a fun day tomorrow.
Why?
Because good sleep helps us have a good day.
Why?
Because I said so. Go.
"From a procrastination standpoint, today has been wildly successful."

Lynn2000

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Re: Have you ever lied to your children?
« Reply #55 on: May 30, 2013, 04:27:37 PM »
"Because I said so" is actually a legitimate reason. Sometimes a child is too young or too emotional to be reasoned with or there is safety at stake and the child needs to do whatever-it-is quickly and the reasons can be explained later. There are lots of reasons why a parent might not need to justify the reasons for telling their child to do (or not do) something. And kids need to learn that. It's not something a kid likes to hear and in fact, I pretty much vowed never to say it to my own kids (before I had them!) but really, sometimes it's the only answer. Sometimes, the parent just has to be in charge and the kid just has to do as their told. But that really has nothing to do with lying.

Oh, right, sorry, I didn't mean to equate "Because I said so!" with lying. I was thinking more like, a parent is at the end of their rope with a kid, and they could either say, "Do it because I said so!" or "Do it because the monsters will eat you if you don't!" The latter is a lie designed to scare a kid into obeying; the former is not a lie, but a lot of parents have an aversion to using it, and might think the lie was the better option. I would be uncomfortable with a parent who continually used either response as the first way to deal with every problem, but I could see how, occasionally, either one might become a last resort. Though personally I'd rather go with "because I said so," because I was an imaginative child and could easily be frightened by mentions of things like monsters, unnecessarily so.
~Lynn2000

lowspark

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Re: Have you ever lied to your children?
« Reply #56 on: May 30, 2013, 04:41:44 PM »
Ya, good point! I agree! I do think some parents have an aversion to saying that. But yeah, a lie is not the answer.

cheyne

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Re: Have you ever lied to your children?
« Reply #57 on: May 30, 2013, 04:50:31 PM »
I never "lied" to my kids.  They were told age appropriate truth from the time they could ask questions.  We are farmers so illness, reproduction, accidents and death were known from a very young age.

There is one thing though.  The old farmhouse had a window above the kitchen sink where I'd be doing dishes every evening.  My kids spent alot of time with me in that farm kitchen while I fixed supper and cleaned up.  I always knew what they were doing, if they were getting into anything, if one had pinched the other or pulled a braid even though my back was to them while I was washing dishes. I would verbally correct their behavior without turning around.  My kids have always said "Be careful, Mom has eyes in the back of her head."  They never realized that I could see their reflections in that old kitchen window...

NestHolder

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Re: Have you ever lied to your children?
« Reply #58 on: May 30, 2013, 04:50:55 PM »
I certainly didn't make a habit of it, but when my small DD asked, "Mummy, what's this?" and the correct answer was, "That?  Why, that is Mummy's vibrator," I am fairly sure I was shockingly untruthful.

snowflake

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Re: Have you ever lied to your children?
« Reply #59 on: May 30, 2013, 05:25:47 PM »
Balloons make my kids hyper.  We've told them that balloons last only one day (and we pop them and toss them after they go to bed.)

This isn't really a lie, but I haven't told them that consume is actually pureed vegetables.  When they ask what is in their soup, I say, "Cheese, ham and consume."  They like consume but for some reason, squash, carrots and other things are gross.