I pride myself on being honest with my child. When she was a toddler, she learned the proper words for parts of the anatomy. There was none of that “little girls have cupcakes and little boys have turtles”.
Very early on, it was “girls have a vagina and boys have a penis”. I was so happy that we were being honest with our child.
The truth is…everybody lies at some point or another.
Whether you’re padding the truth to soften a blow or to save someone’s feelings from being hurt or whether you’re finding a slight bending of the truth to be helpful for a parenting situation, it’s still a lie.
Being a parent comes with so many unexpected situations and knowing how to field questions from little ones can sometimes prove to be tricky.
I promised myself I would be open and honest with my child and never tell her lies.
The truth is that despite our best efforts, everybody lies.
This past Easter, my six year old daughter asked me, “Mommy, did the Easter bunny really hide all the Easter eggs for the kids at the baseball diamond? Did he do it all by himself?!”
“Uhh…Yes. Yes, he did.” Ack! I just told a little white lie.
Little One shot me a glance. She believed me, but had a questioning look on her face.
“Hmm…Maybe he had a little help. That’s a lot of work. Perhaps he had some helpers from our community”. Wow. TWO white lies in the span of two minutes.
Hubby, who is a man of his word and relies strongly on his faith, has strong beliefs when it comes to honesty, integrity, due diligence, hard work and justice. To say Hubby is a good man is an understatement. I have never witnessed Hubby telling a lie. Ever.
Wait. He lies to Little One about Santa Claus.
Last Winter, I overheard him saying, “Remember, Santa is watching! You need to go to bed if you want him to come to our house!” Why do we even tell white lies anyway?
I also heard Hubby tell Little One that the store was closed and that she had to wait for another time to get a certain item she wanted. White lie number two.
I’ve found that children lie for different reasons. They don’t want to get in trouble.
“Did you get into my make-up bag?”
“No, Mommy. I didn’t touch your make-up.”
Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!
The topic of lies is something that is necessary to bring up with kids. We try to teach Little One that she doesn’t ever need to feel like she has to hide things from us or worry about telling us something. She may still face consequences, but if she tells the truth, it we would appreciate it and her consequences (depending on what she has done) may not be as grave as if she had lied about what she did.
Netflix has some great titles for parents and kids to watch about this very topic!
- Super Why!: S1,E15: Humpty Dumpty and Other Fairytale Adventures: Pinocchio
- Curious George: S1, E19: Truth about George Burger
- Clifford the Big Red Dog: S1, E26: The Kibble Crook
- The Adventures of Chuck & Friends: S1, E9: The Pothole / Chuck’s Perfect Plans
Of course, there are great titles for your bigger kids as well.
- Monster High: Frights, Camera, Action!
- H2O: Just Add Water
- Mean Girls
- iCarly: S1, E12: iPromise not to Tell
One show that Little One really enjoys is H2O: Just Add Water.
The gals in this fantasy series cope with the burden of growing a giant fin and transforming into mermaids whenever they come in contact with water.
Little One was asking me when lying is okay and when it’s not okay. She noted that the girls in the show are always lying to hide the truth about them being mermaids. Little One is six years old was confused because she was taught that it’s never okay to lie. She quickly commented that, “the mermaids need to keep their secret or else they will get discovered by humans and who knows what the humans might do to them? Maybe they’ll get in trouble from their pod if they don’t keep their secret.”
There are also some great titles for adults.
I recently watched Just Go With It because I needed a night of something light and funny. The main character, Danny lies to his girlfriend and says that he’s a divorced family man. He recruits his employee and her kids to play his ex-wife and kids. The comedy makes it apparent that lying is often more effort than just telling the truth.
If you want to talk to your kids about telling the truth, there are lots of Netflix titles you can refer to and use as examples.
What’s a recent white lie you’ve told your kids?
Disclosure: I am a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam. As a member of this program, I will be providing thoughts and recommendations about movies and shows currently showing on Netflix. As always, all thoughts and opinions expressed on this blog are honest and my own.