Is it OK to lie to children?

Can we live at peace with ourselves when we lie to our children?

lying to children

I feel the question is loaded and deserves a loaded answer. Though all I will simply say – it depends. Yes, it really depends! When asking others when and for what reason they will lie to their kids the answers will vary.

There are many reasons why we lie, and they do not all fall into the same level of lying.

Why many of us lie to children:

  1. to protect our children
  2. to protect ourselves – it is easier to lie than to say the truth, not wanting to deal with the consequences of saying the truth ( tantrum)
  3. social/ polite lies- said to be “nice” or not hurt others.
  4. imaginary lies- lies that fuel that imagination not said to hurt others yet to create fantasy- (tooth fairy)

Lying hurts our children, and it hurts us as parents. It breaches the sacred trust our children have in adults and their caregivers. When children ” catch” a parent in a lie, it can cause them to lose their respect for that adult. Such as if you tell a child” if you do not leave the park with me now, I will leave you here for the night…” and they know it is not true causing  your words to have little effect on them. The reason you told the lie was to get them to listen yet you are undermining yourself. Rather if you tell them ” if we do not leave the park now we will not be able to visit for the next week..” and you follow up on the consequence your child will know your words are not empty nor a lie and they better listen if they want to visit the park again.

However, it gets complicating. When a child suffered a loss of a pet and wants to know where their beloved pet is. Your response should not be a lie either, it should reflect the age and the level of understanding of your child. Telling the truth will not hurt them as long as it is said appropriately. Gauge their reaction and if it is too much for them then stop. Telling them that their pet ran away or will come back another day will once again break your child’s trust.

Acceptable lies:

When lying to a child for imaginary reasons such as the tooth fairy it usually is acceptable. However it all depends on how you do it. Allow children to discover the truth when they are old enough to understand. When they start questioning you can ask them- ” what do you think?”. Let them discover the truth and do not deny it.

Lying for protection:

A child does not need to know the ins and outs of why mom and dad are divorcing but lying to a child the reason why is not acceptable, tell them what they need to know on their level. You do not need to explain nor tell the whole truth give them the basics. Children are easily perceptive and can easily smell something fishy, if you lie to them.

To compound our feelings of guilt when we lie, many parents justify their lying. There is never justification in lying! It is harmful! In addition, lying becomes habitual. Change the way you talk now and allow the truth to become a habit. It may be difficult at first and uncomfortable for it may seem much easier to lie, however if you continue to lie you will suffer its consequences! Such as children who lie or broken relationships and breached trust. Build your relationship with your children by telling them the truth.

“Telling the truth is an art,  an important skill to learn and master.”

 

Special Education – is it us or them?

Are we labeling children for nothing?

I was just by a special education training session this morning. It was intriguing to hear the presenter’s  frustration at how we  often label a child as needy, disabled, ADHD, weak etc. without fully understanding the wide range of developmental stages that there are for each age group.

How can we label a child if we do not know if something is actually age appropriate for that child? The action may not be up to par with the rest of the class, however that does not mean that the child is necessarily weak. Every child grows at different levels and all learn differently. Their action may fall in the range of appropriate actions for that age group, even though you see it differently. A teacher must first learn what is expected of each age group without jumping to conclusions and then can seek appropriate assistance.

children in a box

Are we putting children in a box?

This scared me. I was left wondering if we are the ones whom label children with labels and they do not need to be labeled at all! Are we just labeling them because we do not have clear expectations of that specific age group, while the child may fall in an appropriate range of expectations?

Help! And to expound on her message the presenter gave each of the attendees a few scenarios and asked us to label them as to which age group we find that behavior appropriate for. None of the veteran teachers and educators got them all correct.

Majority of the workshop was based on early-childhood developmental guidelines. However the lesson was clear:

Never judge and label a child. Review and study expectations for that age group and do not jump to conclusions! 

as stated in the developmental guidelines-

“As one teacher explains, “Knowing about
development lets me slow down and
put aside my assumptions in order to see
children as individuals and pay attention
to where they are developmentally rather
than where I think they “should” be. “

Stop putting children in a box!

Vacation is important!

vacation is important

We all know that vacation is important, yet how important is it? There are numerous studies that indicate that vacations can accomplish much.

The benefits of vacation:

  1. It is a time to relax and let your body decompress and fill itself up with renewed positive energy.
  2. vacation broadens ones horizons and educates
  3. develops personal and social relationships

 

How to make the most of your vacation:

  1. Do what works for you! You know yourself best, you know your interest, follow your instinct. Just because a friend went somewhere does not mean you should go if the place or idea does not interest you.
  2. In addition, do not feel guilty going on vacation it is to your benefit after all.
  3. If you must check your email, so that you do not come home to a lot of unread emails and that can add to your idea that you should not go on vacation for it is not worth it when you come back, check your emails once a day then!
  4. Furthermore vacations help when they are well planned, plan them well. Do you have someone to do your work when you are out? Do you need someone at home to ensure that everything is OK? Did you research the place before you went? Is it open all season? Know what  the cost and regulations are. 
  5. Things can happen but try your best to be prepared. Did you check the hotel or airlines fine print and regulations? Flights can get delayed, and hotels can bet solidly booked, just know that it can happen and do not let that ruin your vacation.

Vacations does not mean one needs to get a way by plane or cruise, there are many other wonderful vacations that one can take by car or just by staying home.

Vacations  should be a change of scenery and a time for relaxation.