Do You Lie to Your Children?

Do You Lie to Your Children?

Mom Jeanine
March 29, 2011


Good Question, hot topic, Jeanine Edwards

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Every morning, as soon as we are getting ready to walk out of the door my daughter always asks, ” Where are we going?” I always say, “To the babysitter’s house,” to which she responds, “Why?” I then reply, “Because we need money,” and again she asks “Why?” By this point, I’m normally running late and in a rush to get going, so I finally say “So I can buy you a Dora kitchen. You want that Dora kitchen I showed you, right?” (Ed note: That’s the sweet Dora kitchen above). Of course, she says yes, the discussion is over and we’re on our way.

I’ve been doing this whole routine with the exact same promise of a Dora kitchen for about a month now. I haven’t really thought twice about it, but for some reason I was overcome with guilt on our bus ride this morning. Considering the size of my apartment, the only way I could get her that kitchen is if I got rid of all the toys she already owns. So no, I probably won’t be buying her that kitchen and I’m starting to feel awful for saying that I would.

Now I know she’s only 2 and in the grand perspective of things she probably won’t even remember this, but she is still a person. And lying is wrong. I teach her the importance of telling the truth, but every morning I lie to her. I try to justify it to myself that it’s really a harmless little fib, but I’m wondering: do you tell little white lies to your children? If so, what have you lied about? Share your thoughts of fibbing to the kids in the comments.

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  • Susan
    March 29, 2011

  • Did you ever tell your child there is a Santa Claus? What about Easter Bunny and the tooth Fairies? They don’t exist therefore they are lies. I also told my children the truth. Even and I mean even there was not Santa or fairies or Easter bunnies. They knew they could count on me to be honest. Didn’t go into great detail about things unless they asked and of course answers to questions were age appropriate. My children are pretty much grown now. But I still have a wonderful relationship with each one, five to be specific.

    The answer to your question your daughter asked was purely materialistic. I would have said we need to earn money to put food on the table and to pay for our apartment. To tell her that you’re working to buy her expensive toys shows her that those things are more important than staying home and taking care of her yourself. Any child would rather have their parents home rather than an expensive toy. I’d say you should feel more guilty about that. We never had money for expensive toys. They all played together and got a long well. They do to this day. I’m grateful for the time and energy I put into them because they’re all worth it.

  • Melanie
    March 29, 2011

  • I don’t think I’ve lied to my kids today. I told a whopper yesterday though. My 2 youngest (6 & 9) keep leaving their beds and getting in bed with the oldest (10). I don’t really care who sleeps where but it’s bugging the oldest one. I don’t blame her. Sharing a bed can be the pits. Aside from locking them in or out, I can’t fix their 3 am migrations. On the way home yesterday the oldest was complaining about not getting enough sleep and I had a random “mother of the year moment.” I glanced over at her and winked and then proceeded to tell the others that they could no longer sleep with her because she has scabies and they are highly contagious. I finished by saying that we couldn’t tell anyone she had them or she would be embarrassed. She played along perfectly. Now they are too scared to get in her bed. I did call the school nurse today and give her a heads up in case one of them mentions it. I thought she was never going to stop laughing. Sometimes I just have to do what works, even if it is creative and completely untrue.

  • Kristie @ PuddlesCollection
    March 30, 2011

  • I think this a very hard topic. I thought I would not lie to my kids. But there have been times where the lie has just been easier. A good “we’ll see” instead of “no”. And there are times where the truth (I am thinking in particular about death) that kids don’t need to know the whole truth. I did go with the Santa Clause lie, but none of the others.