Would you lie for your children?

Everyone wants to teach their children good values, but sometimes we encounter grey areas in which it seems like a little white lie might help protect our children from consequences that seem over the top. Would you ever lie for your children? Under what circumstances?

32  Answers

16 1

hmm...lying to the Nazis to hide jews. That's acceptable. Lying to an abusive husband, to protect a child, that seems like good sense to me. Lying to protect your child from the consequences oftheir actions? No. If they don't fit the crime, then you stand up to that authority figure, and fix the problem.

33
93 12

Elizabeth, well said! I could not agree with you more!

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2,145 5

It depends on what I'm lying about. Like Elizabeth Belch, if it's to protect my child from real harm, absolutely. I wouldn't think twice about it. Lying to protect them from consequences, nope.
My son (oldest child) is 2.5 and has started telling small lies. Things like he didn't pee on the floor (we're potty training) or didn't push his sister (who's just under a year), or telling us that he did do things (like peeing in the potty) to get a reward (marshmallow in that case). He's only done it a few times, but we've nipped it in the bud as much as possible.
As the kids get older and understand more, they will be taught that lying to avoid consequences is WAY worse than facing up to the punishment. Not doing your math homework may get you no TV/game time that night, but lying about it will get you grounded for the weekend. That sort of thing.

I think that there are some lies that are acceptable, and there has to be a fine line. Lying to get out of trouble or lying that hurts someone, absolutely wrong. But lying to save someone's feelings, no as much. Telling your gramma that you like or appreciate the hideous sweater she got you may be a lie, but it's a lot nicer than telling her that it's the ugliest thing you've ever seen and you hate it.

I also think there are degrees of honesty and some people don't know where to draw that line. There's brutal honesty (do I look fat in this dress? YES!! You look like you swallowed a whale!!) and then there's tactful honesty (I think that dress doesn't really compliment your figure. Maybe a different cut or color would be more flattering). And I think it's VERY important to understand the difference.


As for the Santa and Easter bunny debate. We're going with it. They are the spirits of the season and that's what will be taught to our children. In fact, I still firmly believe that those who tell their children that Santa doesn't exist are the ones who are really lying to their kids. St. Nicholas was a real man. He's just not alive anymore. But to say that Santa is a lie is, in my mind, a lie in and of itself.

9
1 25

If real harm was to come to my child, yes. If they chose to do something that doesn't work, not to do their homework, stealing, etc. I would not lie for them. That is a lesson they get to learn and it's not my place to lie or protect them from learning that lesson.

3
19 12

Do I lie TO my children. Yes. Will I lie FOR my children. Absolutely NOT. I have always been a "suffer the consequences" kind of parent. I have turned my own kids in for attempting to steal in stores (my son was around 5 and tried to pocket a small item. I caught him and made him take it to the register and explain what he did and why it was wrong, the sales clerk was SHOCKED). I do not let anyone tell my child that their unacceptable behavior is "okay". If I let them get away with these grey areas now, what happens when they are older, making just as dumb choices and expecting me to bail them out? You do the crime, suffer the consequences. I do not stand for parents who let their children get away w/ murder just b/c little Jimmy just doesn't "understand". They sure do understand, and now they know how to manipulate you your ENTIRE life. So good luck to those parents. :)

2
1,355 3

You nailed that! I "stole" gumballs out of a broken dispenser ONCE, (the turn dial just let you keep turning and turning) I got out of the store and home with them. My mom found them in my drawer and she marched my a$$ right back to the grocery store and made me go in and tell them what I did and apologize. I think I was 10. That's back when 10 was 10 and not 16. I wasn't being malicious, I just thought it was my lucky day. : ) Needless to say, that is exactly what I would/will do if the situation arises. Same with anything else...you got big britches, you got to suffer the consequences...

1 11

Only if it were to protect him from harm, otherwise no.

2
7 2

Telling your child there is a toothfairy is LYING. Telling your child there is a Santa Claus is Lying. Etc. So, where do you draw the line. AND yes my daughter is almost 7 and I am not going to spoil the fun of anticipation. She will eventually come to finding out that these were LIES but were meant for a good cause. AND again where do you draw the line?

2
7 2

Do you all live in your own fantasy world? Because I think you all are sugar coating or stretching the truth a bit. Really. You all never lie? Not in your house? Give me a break.

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11 0

When my now x husband and I got married I thought I'd never lie. I never had a reason to before. But after we wed it became very clear that he was extremely jealous of my son and became abusive toward me and my son. I changed my job so I could be with my kids and so I'd never have to leave them alone with my husband. My son was very young at the time and I seamed trapped for a number of years in the horrible marriage. I removed my kids from the home a number of times for weeks at a time. I tried a lot of things, I spoke with family, friends, our church, even counseling to try and calm my husbands temper toward my son. But things kept getting worse. I was so sick the last 2 years I could barley take care of my self let alone my children. I lied to protect my son from him often toward the end! My doctor, friends and family had to rescue us from what seamed like the sweetest man I'd ever met who was a monster who I never really ever knew.

2
15 5

oh my gosh....you poor thing....your husband indeed was a sick man...and yes people show themselves first as one type and then when married another..i have a niece that this happened to ..so she left...good for her..I dont advocate divorse but in the case of safety of child esp I do....I hope you have left and have an injunction that he cannot come within a certain distance from you....legally.....in this case ...it wasnt lying it was life preservation...

6 6

If I thought consequences were over the top, I would speak to the person concerned to make my feelings in the matter known but I would never lie for my children. (This would put them in the wrong immediately and they would lose their credibility) I believe that if an understanding is found between people the truth will prevail in any case and the child might get an apology. Otherwise, the other party may explain exactly why the consequences were as they were and that would make the child more aware of appropriate behaviour too and other opinions. If not, then he/she would have to learn to deal with those kind of situations. All things are not always fair in life and there will be disappoints as well as wonderful things happening. Truthfulness is always most important.

1
15 2

No. Truthfulness Openess and Honesty is a way of life. Earn their respect.

1
0 0

I guess it depends on the situation. Lying is not good but if it means protecting your child, I think its ok. I have to admit at 36 I still tell little white lies. I try to instill into my children that lying is a sin and won't get u anywhere. As one person said we lie to our children about Santa & the Easter bunny but big lies I don't agree with.

26 0

Depends? Lets not hope that you are here fishing for hope to lie on the father so that you can use it against him. If you are talking about lying to cover up something, NO

0
23 0

Education begins with lies to make things simple, such as do not lie. At a later date, of subjects, you find that in order to learn basic material, you were given certain facts which you were told were true, but now you find out they are not. This is where you begin higher levels of education. Life is very confusing. All the things we should not do, at times we have to deontologically do, and without guilt.

0
0 14

My now 19yo Dean's list dd had tried having me back up her unexcused absence in HS once. She was a habitual truant. I refused. She was a scholastic gem, she just hated school. So, when the principal called to ask me about particular dates, I honestly told him that she was not home and I was not aware of the absences. He didn't know to deal with my honesty. He was looking for a way to excuse her disregard for rules, I would not give him that. He didn't want the responsibility for dealing with her truancy. I refused to let him off the hook. She was already 18. I had no further "control" over her, per se. I have found that the schools do not want to follow rules almost as much as some parents.

Same child, middle school "mistake". I was called to the mall by my police department. My dd and a "friend" at that time, tried to steal a bike. They were caught. There was one old school officer there and 4 younger cops, along with 2 mall cops. I got to the site and told them to take her to juvenile hall. The older cop told me that he truly wished he could, but that rules these days are very clear that they are prohibited from doing so. The younger cops and mall cops looked aghast. To them, I was the devil incarnate!

She is #2 of 6 kids. All are good kids, but like any kids, are prone to make mistakes. I am strict, but allow them the freedom to excel, and to make those mistakes. In this way, they OWN their experience. They aren't coddled. They aren't shielded from real life. They get to feel proud of their successes. They are aware of their mistakes. Remember when you were a kid? No one can beat you up more than yourself when you screw up. And ownership of your own successes? Wow..... How empowering!

0
67 2

i cant lie to save my life .i think it ok about santa an stuff that diff that part of childhood .an i think you should allways be honest with your kid if it apporate .my pasrent were allways honest when nessasery .i have autism so i dont no when im soupod to do those soical lies all these rules are so coussiong to me your told not to lie .but then told it ok so not to hurt someone feelings or my friend was tryting to exzplan to me about white lies when i was being honest an didnt no i should have not say what i say .haveing autism mzke all the social rules harder i just dont no

0
6 0

I don't think I would lie for my child under any circumstance. What would I be teaching my child if I did? One thing I KNOW I would be teaching them by lying is that it's okay to lie, when it's not. It's better to be honest and face the situation as a responsible person rather than let them run and hide from it. If it came to legal reasons if they did something wrong and they could get jail time for it, no I still wouldn't lie. Lessons aren't learned by making the harder ones easier. Experience is the best way to learn.

0
7 2

It's would you lie to your child. Not lie for your child. But anyways, telling your child there's a Santa Claus, Tooth fairy or Easter bunny is just a game. Everyone on this page is like it's a NO NO. It's not teaching your child it's okay to lie. When the time comes when they discover the TRUTH about the above you sit your child down and explain..and that's even if it comes to that. But I wasn't devastated when I came to realize they weren't real. Were you? I mean read some of these posts. Outrageous!

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1 41

I personally would not lie for my children. We are the parents and our children look up to, we need to set a GOOD example for them. Our children will never be able to learn from there mistakes if we help them cover it up with lies. It is also the same when someone tells us our children have done some thing wrong, if we immidiatly say "oh no, my son/daughter" would never do that without finding out the facts of the situation i believe the same rule applys. Always give your children the benefit of the doubt but always find the truth. Raise your children not to Lie, Cheat or steal and you all ready have made your life and your childrens life better by being honest....

0
65 0

my second set of twins dads second home is jail or prison.i told mine the truth about it hurt my daughter but she understood. if you lie to them about this all you are doing is hurting them. they need to know the truth, i know the truth hurts but it will help them. they will find out sooner or later then they might not trust you later. all i can tell you is sit them down and tell them the truth not everything just wat they need to know if they ask questions tell them. Dont hide this from them.

0
0 0

Please Help Me Out Mothers Out There ,

My Daughter Dad Is In Prison` But I` Gonna File For Child Support & i Dont Want Him To Have Any Vistions Right ? Can i Do That ?

Let Me Know Pleas & Thank You

0
953 1

My mother always taught me that family comes first. I remember once she said that if I witnessed my sister kill someone....to lie and say I didn't see anything because no bond is stronger than family. I grew up a bit confused because when I would lie about failing a test or hanging out with a boyfriend I would get in trouble. Now that I'm a mom I know that I couldn't disagree with my mom more on that advice. Let's take that extreme scenario that my sister (who is super sweet) killed someone. Ummm, my first reaction would be to call the cops and get her the help she needs...I wouldn't want her to go to jail but I would want justice...and well...that means if you do the crime you do the time. So, would I lie for my CHILD? If it was to keep them out of harms way or to protect them from this violent world and what lies beneath...yes. Would I lie for my child if they were accused of bullying someone and it could be proven? NO. Having said that, I am raising my child to not be a bully or a victim

0
4 0

The definition of a lie is withholding the truth from someone that deserves to know. I'm honest in my mistakes with my children and I teach them to be honest with me because I'm their mom and I deserve to know the truth. We are honest with authorities because they are in a position to know the truth. However, if someone is out to harm them or someone else, that person is not deserving to know the truth. My kids know the truth... not just about whether Santa is real or not, but about where holidays originated. If I started lying to them when they were small, how could I ever expect them to know when it's okay to lie and when it's not. There is no such thing as a little white lie. A lie is a lie.

0
0 0

If someone was doing something very inappropriate/rude and my son accidentally saw it, I may lie about the circumstance or the reason for the situation for protection reasons - at 4 1/2 years old he can only understand so much.

0
1 0

When I was younger and any of us kids were caught telling a lie, facing the circumstances of either having soap put in your mouth or pepper on your tongue was never pleasant and a great deterrent. However, for (me) I learned very early on that earning my parents trust was much more important.

Even to this day - as an adult, I feel if we lie to people in the little things, how can we expect them to believe us in the big things when its really Important!! Honesty is Always the best policy ~

0
0 14

I agree with you! Its about integrity and character building!!

0 0

yes, of course. everyone lies for their kids. Example: My daughter has a child in her class that she doesn't like (which is fine since they are very different and you don't go through life liking everyone.) When that child invited her to a playdate and my daughter didn't want to go, I said "no, she can't come over. We have plans." No harm done, no feelings hurt. My daughter appreciated my getting her out of a tight spot since she didn't know how to respond to the invitation and didn't want to be rude or hurtful. I talked with her about it and she knows that next time it's ok for her to say "no thank you. I'd rather go home." In my opinion, everyone tells little lies for their kids. They just might not realize it or admit it. ;)

0
0 9

Simply, define "lie" in the eye/concept and age and understanding of the Child. Then define "lie" in your understanding and tell her/him what you believe is right for her to know and to understand.
because in my concept, if you promise to go someplace, and then change your mind ....for the child that may be a LIE, so she may pull that same 'change of mind' on you.

0
53 45

No!

0
1 8

if it is something that would do good to lie about i.e saying the child isnt home to a bully asking for them or something that i know is pure protection over harsh consequences then i will lie and not think twice. However, if the child has done something to provoke or warrent the negative attention i would sit down and talk with them about it. If the same situation were to arrise again and again, then i wont lie anymore

0
15 5

I hate lying but when I was a kid I think I lied all the time...esp to my parents ...when i was very little the reason for lying was because I was afraid of a spanking as my parents would go overboard. my parents were very strict which I now at 60 discovered after raising 5 kids of my own that when you are too much one way or the other your kids improvise and lying is one way of improvising...if you are real strict kids will keep everything to themselves or do what one of their friends said for one of my sons to do...tell your parents what they want to hear and then when gone do what you want..ahah I had heard that and they didnt know that...when parents are too easy....the kid doesnt have to lie but they do just to keep the peace...but this question seems more about if a parent would lie for their children in certain cases...I always told my kids if they got into trouble and it was their fault they had to fess up...otherwise I would and they would have to suffer the consequences ..if my kids committed a crime I told them i would turn them in....so in this case if my kids are at fault No I wouldnt lie for my child...if my child took someones life he needs to be punished to the full extent of the law as it would be even hard for me to know my own child took someones life in a crime same with stealing or robery...hmmmm maybe that is why one of my sons is a fed agent ..hahah.....his momma taught him right....life isnt easy....there are little white lies....I think its better to hedge insteadl like polititions do on tv..you know when asked a question....change the subject ...or talk about what you would do instead...hahah...

0
61 1

When people tell their children there is a Santa, or Easter bunny, that is lying. We often forget that.

0
281 0

We started with the Santa, Easter Bunny thing just because we had been raised that way and then decided that tuth was a better route. I don't want them thinking Jesus is a lie someday or made up by his parents so we stopped. It also helped hearing about a friends son who got in a physical fight at school because "My dad wouldn't lie" in regards to Santa! That dad was feeling pretty low!!

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8 5

No Way!!! The truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me God :0) Must admit sometimes the temptation is there to tell a lie, but where I find it difficult I just ask God for his help, I totally agree that for trust to be properly formed the truth must be told, even when it might not be popular. We should not try to offend others with our truth telling but rather try to speak kind words or find an appropriate way to share with them if we feel what we have to say may hurt others. We need wisdom to know when to speak and when to keep quiet. Although I would not recommend withholding the truth when we know it should be spoken. :0)

0
15 5

wow this is true...of course you know as the lady said above we tell our kids about santa and the easter bunny and the tooth fairy...hahah ..I call those little white lies or...making up stories but when telling the truth or telling anyone anything we need to think first why we are telling them the truth...sometimes I found that when i told my husband something the truth he would have rather not known...or it was to relieve myself of a situation and put it on him ..so we could suffer together hahaah....but he would get over it....lying on the whole isnt good..my mom would say...if you dont have something good to say then dont say nothing at all.....haha

281 0

Can't think of any reason off the top of my head. Would be truthful and deal with the consequences. If I thought they were too harsh I guess I would handle that through the source that it's coming from. Which I have before in the school process. My kids go to private school and I am all about supporting the teachers and staff but sometimes the rules and/or some independent judgements are a bit harsh and over the top especially when it hits one of my kids hard who struggles in an area. The only thing that I believe justifies a lie might be something that may hurt anothers feelings. Like if an opinion was asked. Teach them how to find the positive and avoid harsh criticism.

0
9 0

Absolutely not! In our house, "Lying is the worst thing ever!" and we drill that into our 4 children every chance we get. As a teacher that's also my rule - if you lie to me I can't trust you and the consequences are way more severe than if you do something against the rules but tell the truth. I always tell my students that if they lie to me (and come on, we all know when kids are lying!) then they cannot come on field trips and such. Yes, it seems mean, but if I can't trust you to tell the truth than I can't trust you outside the classroom. Even my kindergarten and 1st grade students understand that. I always give students an out - "Come see me or write me a note." rather than having them have to say it in front of everybody.

As for lying for my own children, even if the consequences might seem over the top, that's a good lesson for a child too. Sometimes the punishment might seem severe, but lying to avoid punishment is never the answer. If your child has done something wrong then they have to take the consequences, even if it's harsh. That's what's going to happen when they're adults too. And, let's face it, someone who makes a mistake but admits it and gets help is always going to do better in life than someone who tries to cover up their mistakes - sooner or later that will catch up to them.

-1
79 37

The only beef I have on the lying and children subject is if people really want to teach their children good values, why lie to them about father Christmas, the tooth fairy etc. So many parents say they were devastated when their parents finally told them the truth but these parents still tell their children these things exist. How can any parent expect respect from their children when they lie to them.

-2
1,355 3

Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy are just make believe. Most adults I know (and would have a reason to know what happened to them regarding those childhood fantasies) have not had negative reactions, by the time they figured it out, they were old enough to understand the spirit behind it. I tried the whole be honest about Santa and robbed my daughter of the magical anticipation to see what suprises were in store. I saw it on her sad little face whenever other kids talked about those mythical creatures. They would bring the 50 cents the Tooth Fairy left for them for show and tell and she just sat there as the other kids were uuuhhhing and aaahhhhing over the missing tooth and indeed the Tooth Fairy had been generous. There was no excitement, no fun for her, just total disappointment. There is BIG difference between make believe and fantasy and time honored traditions and LYING about pretty much anything else. There is also a need for age appropriate information. A 5 year old doesn't need to know daddy left us behind for another hooker/skank/home wrecker. He/She needs to know that they are loved no matter what. And when they are in the check out line at Toys R Us and they yell, Mom that lady is fat! They need to be taught what is polite and what is not. Yes, the lady is fat, but no, we don't shout that out...that is not teaching them to lie, it's teaching them about respect and sensitivety towards others. ; )

4 6

To this day my 11 year old son has not EVER told a lie. I am very proud of him. The down side to this is that, can you believe, he has gotten in and out of trouble, for telling the truth. The first thing I tell his teachers, each year is that "my son has not and will not tell a lie. So if you do not want the answer to whatever your question is, please do not ask him." I also request that if they NEED to know something/anything that in anyway would label him a tattle tail, please meet with him in private where nobody would assume he is telling on someone. He is not embarassed to tell the truth. He knows if you do something wrong, you will get caught. I have taught him, do not do anything, say anything or put onto paper that could hurt yourself or anyone else, including animals in any way.
I did run into a problem with all of this. Just like 99.9% of all parents in the US. I believe all parents have told an ongoing lie.
Because of this lie, my son is affraid to go upstairs by himself and he used to have dreams/ nightmares that someone would come and take him from his bed in the middle of the night. I forgot to mention that we have 3 schnauzers, who we call "The Greaters". Nobody including myself and my husband,could sneak in (we all have tried) or around, not even in our side yard. Because of our dogs we know when someone is taking a walk near our house, we know when the mail is delievered etc. There is no sneaking into this house. Unfortunatly because of his "being afraid and not totally believing he was safe in his own home"
I had to tell him .................
1. There is no Santa Claus
2. There isn't a Tooth Fairy
3. No Easter Bunny either
:-( It made me sad,
I know, because he does not see any grey area, its either The Truth or A Lie/ Black or White that in his mind he now has doubt that him mom and dad always tell the truth.
through out grade school, he has caught and have heard other kids lie and because of this he believes he cannot trust or believe these classmates.
Luckily I have also taught him that "People change" always give the people you might not get along with,or maybe they told a lie. You will never know why they are lying. Maybe they are ashamed or don't feel as good about themselves. All I ask is that you give them a second chance. In grade school, each year almost everyone will be maturing and changing. We can only hope that the change will be for the possitive.
So, for all the parents that say stictly "NO LYING< NO FABRICSTING STOIES" How will you feel when your lovely children who love, worship and believe everything you say, learn that you have been lying to them for years?

-2
7 2

How a sheltered life your child lives. You say he's afraid to go upstairs alone? Why? Surely something was put in his head to make him fear that. And what does that have to do with lying? Anyways, no matter how strong you feel that your child will 'never' tell a lie doesn't make it true. Telling his teacher 'he will not tell a lie', that can only be your belief. And it's sad he can't have any exciting anticipations to look forward to. But this belief works for you and God Bless you for that. But kids do need to know it's okay to make a mistake and it's okay to dream. A kid needs to be a kid.

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