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Sep 20 2010

Five Important Times You Have Lie to Children

Published by at 7:20 am under Editorial

Lying is generally a bad thing.  Telling someone something that isn’t true is clearly a form of manipulation and usually leads to something bad if the party you lied to finds out you are lying.  However, lying isn’t bad in certain circumstances.  Those circumstances usually involve an issue where the person you are lying to is better of for not knowing something.

This is most true with children.  If it weren’t for lying then children would be pretty screwed up.  I mean can you imagine if all children went through childhood without being lied to?  They’d be the most miserable creatures on earth.

So when you have to lie to kids, don’t feel bad about it.  Especially in these five situations….

Holidays and customs with fictional characters

When kids are little you don’t just tell them “There is no Santa Claus!”  Children are full of hope and it’s nice to know they think some happy things are out there.  Don’t you wish there was a tooth fairy?  I sure as hell do.  It’s only when they can really process these things that you tell them the truth.

Talking about Death

Death is one of the hardest things to bring up with a child.  You have to make it so that death is a great thing.   That whoever die is in great place with clouds and the best things life would have to offer.  It’s never an easy subject to bring up but you cannot simply tell the truth when someone they love dies.

When You’re Caught Having Sex

Talk about one where there’s been some weird ass responses.  The typical response is “mommy and daddy were exercising.”  But the range of replies is absolutely hilarious.  “Oh I lost my shoe and it was under the bed.  Daddy was helping me find it.”   “It was really hot but my underwear fell off because of the wind.”  You name it.

Manipulating them to follow rules

Giving kids ultimatums is one of the best ways to teach them rules.  Without these it’d be pretty tough to get them to do things.   For example if they’re not eating their vegetables you can tell them that the TV won’t work when you get home.  There are tons of lies out there that you have to conjure up so kids learn some structure.

When they ask us impossible questions

“Why is the sky blue?”  Seriously how the hell do we know?  But you gotta give them an answer right?  So you make up shit.

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8 responses so far

  • Nasir Gadora

    Why is the sky blue?

    Are you serious ???
    this is not an impossible question !

  • The Doctor

    I sincerely hope you’re not a parent. You’d make a terrible one. And if you are, I feel so bad for your children.

  • jay

    Kids will understand things if you explain to them. i for one think that making things up like the tooth fairy and santa claus then telling your children you were lying the whole time forms mistrust. the sky is blue because hydrogen is the most abundant element in the air and when light passes through it the only part of the spectrum that can be seen by the human eye is the color blue. if you dont know something look it up with your child. teach them to teach themselves. and you have to teach a kid about sex eventually, its not an evil terrible thing that a kid wont understand. dont lie to kids because you’re too lazy to be a parent. just use a condom if you feel this way

  • Jack

    I agree with every response. Personally I lie to my parents all the time and thats probably because my dad tried to teach me that lying was bad and then tell me a little “white” lie which I caught him in. Lying to children is pointless telling them santa claus and the tooth fairy aren’t real isn’t going to destroy there imagination there happiness. As for the getting caught having sex, there are these magical things that we put on doors called locks that keep people from opening them. Personally I intend to tell my kids straight up there isn’t a santa and that christmas is about being with the people you love and sharing gifts.

  • Mercedes

    So basically, you guys are all saying that wanting to keep a child innocent and content is wrong?? That as a mother I am morally obligated to destroy my own child’s innocence?? Shame on you… if my child is happy with the belief that Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and all those magical, mythical creatures exist, who am I to ruin his fun?? The only thing any of you said which I agree with is that if you don’t know the answer to something, you should look it up together, but that mostly only works with a child who can read… and I think “Natty”, the author, was gearing this toward parents of very young infant to maybe 6 year-olds, not children who are old enough to understand the concept of death or that magic isn’t real… as a child, they want to believe everything is pure and good, and why shouldn’t they?? They will find out the truth eventually, there is no need to speed up the process, making your kids jaded before the age of 6.

  • Ali

    Nope, I see nothing wrong with telling kids the truth straight up, first thing.
    I never plan to have a child, but if on some random occurrence I end up with one, I will tell them the flat out truth from the get-go.
    No, Santa is really just a story, but he’s fun to pretend about, so if you want to, go ahead. Sex is sex, not ‘wrestling’ or whatever else.
    it’s just . . . why teach your kids that they can’t trust you?

  • Vulpes

    define “innocence” or are you rather referring to “ignorance?” It would be a more apt term. As far as mythical creatures go, teach them the old stories, not the new one which intentionally leave out bits in order for that same ignorance to prevail. Santa and the tooth fairy were both stories created by parents, however it’s not like you can’t have a christian holliday such as christmas or easter without creating a ‘fun’ fictional character to make them lighthearted.
    A lie is a lie- a falsehood no matter how you look at it.
    I know growing up I figured them out myself. I wondered why the sky was blue, so I looked in books to find out. There is a lot out there which is seen as being too much for kids, when in the end they find out anyhow.
    It is because of the lies and the ignorance which we grow up with, combined with teachings at home of intolerance of various groups, that we are in a society where conflict is seen as norm and innocent men, women, and children are persecuted for nothing but an accident of birth, or their beliefs or attractions.
    Quite honestly- Teach them truths instead of lies and it will be much better for the child in the long run.

    As far as death- that’s a question of faith. Simply explain that you don’t know, but tell them about various beliefs and religions. In my experience, it is better for an individual to find their faith rather than having another tell them that is how it is and there can be no other truth in the world. Such a thing also adds to the perpetual conflict which we see in this world.

    Peace is the way. Understanding and tolerance are the ways to follow that path.

    oh and “ruin their fun?” looking back I saw no fun in it, save for an ideology of greed. That I was expecting to get something without having truly earned it. Consider that. Why do you think we live in a society run by corporate greed when we are raised being told greed is good?

  • Jeremy

    Lying to your kids teaches them to lie, nuff said. Tell them the truth and they won’t be all messed up like we are.



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