Would I lie to you?
On our parenting journey, I think we are sometimes lead to believe lies.
Little cultural messages that we imbibe.
So here goes for some truth busting today….
The first one
Is about lies themselves
Lie number one:
White lies are harmless.
When my friend was a child and the ice cream truck went by her mum used to tell her it plays that tune when it’s run out of ice cream!
Here are a few other white lies that parents have admitted to:
"At night I tell my three-year-old that the sun won't come back up if he doesn't go to sleep."
"When my daughter was three, I used to tell her the park had closing hours."
"Sorry, kids. We can't watch anything; the iPad is broken.
We’ve run out of biscuits!
And of course, all the things that will happen to you if you don’t eat your vegetables.
But joking aside, There are few things that break connection as much as dishonesty.
In fact, among the parents that I regularly speak to, one of the hardest things to resolve is when a child is lying.
And as much as we’d love to kid ourselves, they’re learning that at school - is it possible they’re learning it at home.
It’s so tempting to just alter the truth by one degree.
A sort of calculated shift. Either to our children or in front of them.
Like Little altered truths about being late
“I had a flat tyre.”
“I’ll say I didn’t know that was today!”
“The traffic was bad.”
“Tell them I’m busy.”
I’m sorry if this is making you squirm, it’s not my intention.
My intention is to flag up something
So it doesn’t come back and bite you on the bum in a few short years.
The common reason given for white lies is that they’re protecting the other person
“I didn’t want to tell her. I didn’t want to hurt her feelings.”
But I’ve yet to meet someone who wishes people would lie to them to protect them or avoid conflict.
How many people wish politicians would twist the truth, just a little more.
Let’s face it. When we’re lying we’re probably protecting ourselves.
It does take courage to tell the truth and sometimes it’s time-consuming to go the truth-route.
But if you can look your child in the face and say I won’t lie for you and I won’t lie to you - and follow through.
You’ll be their greatest role model for integrity
Their greatest antidote to deceit
You’ll be actually investing in their self-esteem as
shame is linked to the shifting sands of untruth.
If someone lies in front of you, you know that they’re capable of lying to you.
It’s hard to trust someone you’ve watched say a bare faced lie.
If we make our homes safe places to make mistakes and go wrong, our children will be able to face the truth
They won’t lose their self-confidence when they have to admit a wrong doing.
We will reap what we sow in this place.
So next time you’re tempted to make a calculated shift. Try the truth and see if anyone dies from it.
Have a few one-liners at the ready.
How about when you want to keep something from them…
“I’d love to tell you that darling, but it will ruin a surprise.”
I’d love to tell you that, but I’m going to wait until you’re a little older.”
“There are some biscuits left, but I’m saving those for tomorrow.”
“I hope you won’t think less of me, but I’m going to tell you what actually happened.”
Beware the tongue, it’s in a wet place and it might slip!
Our children’s integrity is modelled on us. It flourishes in a culture of acceptance and freedom to go wrong and in the presence of people who dare to speak truth.
Have courage. It's worth it
Do pop across to the podcast and listen to this week's message. It has two other parenting myths to listen to as well as this one. here