Thursday, October 21, 2010

We All Do It... Don't We??

Recently I've noticed a trend in my parenting and I'm not sure if it's a good one but it's happens a lot. What's my dirty little parenting secret? I lie. Little white lies - ok sometimes big fat flagrant lies, but they don't know the difference.

I read an blog post recently I can't really remember what it was about but one of the comments stuck with me. The lady's remark was along the lines of "It's no wonder our society is going to hell in hand basket if parents think it's ok to tell their kids little white lies."

What do you think? Am I permanently scaring my children and unintentionally steering their future towards anarchy, crime, or worse liberalism?? {that's a joke don't get your panties in a twist}.

Here are some examples of my lies:

1. Today at dinner Tira refused to feed herself - this is a regular and highly frustrating occurrence. She kept saying she "couldn't" - dinner was a hot dog that she could pick up with her fingers. Amazingly she doesn't have trouble using said fingers to pick up a cookie and she manages perfectly fine to direct those cookie-holding-fingers towards her mouth. But dinner she "can't". So I picked up my phone and pretended to call her ballet teacher. Then I had a fake phone call with the imaginary teacher telling her Tira wouldn't be attending the ballet class any more because she was still a baby and couldn't feed herself.

2. We were getting into the car at Denny's and this girl who looked about 5 or 6 was running a much in the parking lot. Tira asked me what she was doing. I said she was being naughty because she was playing in the parking lot and because she was naughty she doesn't get any ice cream. Chances are her grandparents who were standing there smoking and ignoring the fact that she could very easily be hit by a car would still give her ice cream. 

3. I tell both girls that they have to stay with me, Yai Yai, Papa or another adult they know when we're out and about or else Captain Hook will get them. 

4. McDonalds is closed and we can't go play on the playground.

5. If you don't stop fighting I'm going to pull the car over and kick you both out. And I will pull over but I wont really leave them... most likely not.

I try hard to use my lies to teach my children something (like Captain Hook) and not for my personal benefit (like McDonalds). I'm obviously I don't always stick to this rule but I try.

So what lies if any do you tell your kids? Do you think I'm doing them a disservice? 

Added - I thought of one more. Right after I posted this I got the girls' toothbrushes ready. As they brush their teeth they ask me if they're shinny yet and my answer is "not yet". This goes on until I think they've brushed long enough at which time I exclaim "ohh they're soooo shinny". In reality they're teeth don't look any shinier than when they started but they are cleaner.


Heidi said...

Eh, I don't think most of those really qualify as white lies. I think in most of those examples you're just trying to illustrate consequences that they can understand. I don't think our country would be any better off if we told kids not to play in the parking lot because they might get run over, crushing their ribs into their lungs and making it so they can't breathe and gasp for breathe and die a slow painful death, while leaving their mommies heartbroken and devastated. Either they won't get it or they'll have nightmares. Once they get to a certain age, the very real fact that they could get seriously hurt would be an appropriate consequence/warning, but not likely at the age of 3, and definitely not 2. So I see nothing wrong with saying they wouldn't get ice cream or they can't go to ballet or Captain Hook is going to get them are probably things they understand.

What I think the REAL issue is whether or not we follow through on our threats and actually discipline our children. I think that's where our society really has a problem. But I do value honesty and hope to be as honest as I can with my kids.

Amanda said...

I tell Eliza if she doesn't brush her hair that spiders will come and live in it. When I was little, my mom said the same thing just rats not spiders. So, I don't think telling white lies is new to our generation. I remember my mom telling me all kinds of funny things. I think our kids will be fine. Plus, look at all of the other lies: Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy...