Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Little white lie

I remember talking with other moms when my kids were quite young.  Did we lie to our kids about little things that really didn't make a difference?

"No, sweetheart, there aren't any onions in the spagetti sauce," to a child who totally hates onions.

Even if it inconvenienced me, I declared that I would tell my children the truth- point blank - if they asked me a question.  I was appalled that moms would do differently.  If you would lie to your child in the small things, what would prevent you from lying with the really big things.

Well, so much for good intentions.  Today I practiced "deception by omission" with my daughter.  She had all 4 wisdom teeth out today.  She had me laughing so hard in her drug induced haze.  Apparently she was concerned with ice cream and teeth brushing.  Repeatedly concerned.  Then quite confused to hear she had already asked the same question 2 minutes before.

But she did ask a legit serious question (even with the drugs making her wonky) and I knew the answer would upset her, so I dodged it.  Then wouldn't you know it, while I was running this afternoon I just happened to listen to a podcast about "Lies we tell our children".  

Telling white lies eventually makes one color blind.

Ouch.  Convicted!  So, when I came home and we were sitting around the table, I confessed.  Sure enough, she was upset.  But I tried to convey the importance of this issue and she eventually accepted it, even though it upset her.

My lesson learned: kids will respect the truth.  They may not like it, but they will deal with it, often better than our imaginations give them credit for.

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