Lying to your kids

Mary - posted on 06/11/2012 ( 99 moms have responded )

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I was reading this blog the other day about "lying" to your kids, and it really made me think about just how honest I am with my three and half year-old in answering questions or explaining different things to her.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/devon-corn...

Some excerpts from this blog that I think sum up the author's view:

"I try hard to tell my son the truth so he can, in fact, trust what I say. I need him to believe that getting hit by a car will hurt and that's why he has to hold my hand when he crosses the street or that vegetables are full of vitamins and help his bones and muscles grow. My parents also told me that lying was a very, very, very bad thing, so I don't like to do it. The problem is, I lie to Little Dude all the freaking time, and I cannot have my husband outing me. Because, mixed in with all the truths I tell him -- truths that by the way, do keep him safe and happy and healthy -- are lots of tiny (and no so tiny) fibs, falsehoods, and mischaracterizations that also keep him safe and happy and healthy and keep me sane."

"...Will kids stop trusting us if we lie to them about important things? I think so. Certainly, a desire to protect kids doesn't give us carte blanche to lie about anything at any time. But when they're little, and the truth doesn't serve a purpose, I'll stick with the lie when I think my son is better off protected for just a short while from the knowledge that the world is a scary and unjust place. Even if that makes me a big fat liar."


Some of the comments in response to this blog were up on their moral high horses in judgement of this blogger. In all honesty, she admits to a level of "fibbing" that I found excessive, and more than a little self-serving. However, one commentator said, "There are other ways of doing and saying things without lying. But no one is going to say they never lied. Those who say they didn't lied.". I find that thought to be accurate as well; no matter how honest a person tries to be, I don't think there is a parent out there who has never stretched the truth a bit with their kids.

Just how honest are you with your kids?

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Johnny - posted on 06/11/2012

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My daughter is a hard core realist and it is actually hard to convince her of "make-believe" stuff so I don't really try. I just remind her that it is real for some people, so don't squash their fun. She is almost 4 and she already told me that she knows that there is no such thing as fairies. I am hoping she plays along with me being the tooth fairy though. I'm hoping she'll go along with the Santa thing for a few more years at least though. I know she's skeptical about it.

The other day we were watching a movie together and something "scary" happened to the character so I covered my eyes. She put her arm around me and reminded me that it was just pretend. Ex-squeeze me litte one, but that's supposed to be MY job. Hmph!

I do however have her convinced that if she doesn't eat any vegetables that she will get scurvy (which she learned about in a pirate book). I'm planning to run with that one as long as I can. It's not a total lie, it is just a ginormous stretching of the facts, lol. I will say though, she already knows not to ask for junk food because she just won't get any. I've always just said no.

I don't take any of this stuff too seriously. I don't mind the "I NEVER lie to my kids" type of mothers, I honestly find it funny. Growing up, my dad told me all sorts of ridiculous tall tales (although he never lied about the important stuff like death and divorce etc.) and I had lots of fun with those stories. When I was pregnant, he gave me this hilarious book "Lies to Tell Your Children" and we've had some fun with that. Unfortunately, my daughter isn't as gullible as I was. But I'm pregnant, so there's hope with the next one.

Oh, and on the "kids won't trust us" stuff. I think that is complete and utter bullcrap. My father is probably the person I trust the very most on this earth. And he told me all manner of funnylittle lies as I was growing up. But he was also dependable, reliable, and when it came to the truly important stuff, was incredibly honest and straightforward with me. He treated me like I deserved respect and to know what things were really all about. Kids lose trust in their parents because they aren't dependable and they realize they can't rely on them, not because they tell them that they're turning 30 at every birthday or that carrots make your eyesight better.

Johnny - posted on 07/16/2012

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Megan, don't take on other people's issues as your own. You KNOW you aren't lying to your kids and teaching them to mistrust you. Other people's misinterpretations or misunderstandings of your life shouldn't matter at all. They have not walked in your shoes. They do not know your family and your situation. If your family is happy and functioning fine, then you know that you are doing the right thing by them.

It's never nice to hear people say nasty, judgmental things about the way you choose to run your family, but you'll be much happier if you remember that those are THEIR issues, not yours.

That's the thing about this "lying" to your kids bullshit. It's intended to be insulting. It is rude, intolerant and judgmental in the worst way. I have to say though, I find the "ruining the Christmas magic" lines from those who do partake in the imaginary fun equally as problematic. We all need to remember that our family life is ours, not anyone elses. How they choose to live their lives is on them. I've seen these discussions generate in the worst way to people just tossing insults. It's not a "right or wrong" debate. There is no "correct answer".

Aleks - posted on 07/16/2012

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I guess one of the things one has to remember is that a child WILL understand that some things are for adults, incluing information and understanding of certain things.

I was made aware of this as a child growing up, therefore, was not bothered when, as I got older and older, I came to discover the "truths" that some adults knew and kept from me as a younger child. That in itself was probably one of the reasons I was NOT upset over finding out about these "truths". In fact, I relished the fact that I was IN on the the little secret :-) Part of the grown ups world! It was exciting for me and made me feel more grown up. I passed another of the growing up milestones.... Went through *that* right of passage.
Just like I was told that coffee, cigarettes, alcohol, driving a car and certain movies (among other things, I am sure), etc etc, are for adults only, so are some things they do and say.

I think it may also have been partly of how I discovered that whole thing about Santa, too. I discovered it/figureed it out on my own - no one told me. No one "burst my bubble" so to speak. I also had no major issues with trusting my parents either. They kept to their word on things that mattered. And were there when I needed them. And *THAT* is the most important thing in building trust with one's parents. They were reliable. And if for some reason they couldn't keep to their word, they appoligised for it.

I am now doing the same with my kids. They are told and explained (and practiced, as well) that some things are for adults only. Some things are also more for older children, and not for them. They are explained this. Disciplined about it. And they understand it and accept it. I, too, do everything to stick to my word and be there for my kids. I try to be the most dependable person they know. I try not to lie to them about things, but on a very rare occasion it is/was necessary. I do my best to explain things to them at the age appropriate level.
Therefore, I expect they shall have no problem accepting why we do/did the whole Santa, Bunny, Tooth Fairy thing.

Johnny - posted on 07/16/2012

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It concerns me that some people seem unable to tell the difference between telling a lie and engaging in fantasy/imagination. My parents always played along with the Santa mythology, and many of the little details about it. But when I outright asked if Santa was real, they did not say "yes, he is a real man that lives at the North Pole and flies around the world on a sleigh behind 8 reindeer". They were clear that it was a story, just like any other, that pretending about it was a fun family tradition and that you didn't have to actually think it was real to enjoy. For me, I was pretty much always clear that there was no Easter Bunny, that my mom planted the eggs. But I loved playing along.

I do not think it is necessary to follow these specific tradtions in order to have holidays be magical and special. I know plenty of people who did not have Santa Claus growing up (it is NOT part of my husband's culture for instance) and who still have magical memories of Christmas. My husband has certainly never suggested that his Christmases were boring. Quite the opposite.

What works for one family doens't work for all. To me, teaching kids that Jesus really is the son of God and our saviour is also a lie, but I don't go around calling Christian families liars. That would be incredibly rude and intolerant. Just like calling families who enjoy the Santa myth liars is incredibly rude and intolerant. Take pride and enjoyment in the family traditions you choose to follow, it's not neccesary to disparage others to make yours mean more.

Mary - posted on 06/12/2012

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I suppose it all comes down to what your definition of lying is. It sounds like what one person calls an "age appropriate" explanation is another parent's idea of a lie.

For me, things like Santa or the Easter Bunny are not lies. It is a parent actively partaking in creative and imaginative role-playing with their child. It's no more of a lie than when my daughter dresses up in a costume, pretends she is a bear, and I "play along" by letting her chase me, and acting "scared". I also take part in her picnics by pretending to drink the imaginary tea she has poured for me, and eating the wooden cookies she serves. I also have no intentions of disabusing her of the notion that the any of the characters that we may encounter at place like Disney World aren't the "real" Cinderella or Mickey Mouse when we go there.

To me, life would be decidedly more dull without these imaginary characters in our lives. I may no longer believe in Santa, but I do still believe in the spirit, generosity, and magical fun and anticipation that he represents. Even though I know that Santa is not a "real", literal person, I still believe in the magic of Christmas that he represents. In my mind, I am not lying to my child when I tell her about "him", because I really do believe in Santa Claus - it's just not the same literal belief that she currently possesses.

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Amy - posted on 09/02/2012

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Not telling the truth about Santa, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, etc., is still lying. However, children are taught about them from a very young age and they are a part of their development. My daughter is getting close to the age that I'm sure she is going to ask me for the truth. And I will tell her. But to flat out lie to her, no I haven't. You can hold back information that a child does not necessarily need to know. But would you want your child to lie to you?

Lacye - posted on 07/24/2012

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Jodi: I have to disagree with you. I'm going to say first and foremost that I'm glad you got out of such an abusive relationship. But I think that if your son asked you, it would be better to tell him the truth about why you had the divorce. My sister was in a similar marriage as yours and when her children got old enough for them to understand, she told them the truth. They are closer to their mother than ever now. But, my sister was also comfortable about talk about her situation with her kids. She had 3 daughters and a son and she didn't want her daughters to have to go through the same thing she did and she didn't want her son to turn out like her ex.

As for Santa, it's harmless. It's just pure fun to have with the kids. I don't see how anybody can see Santa as lying. I have told my daughter about the story of Santa, but I have never said he was real. I told her that it was a story and that it was fun to pretend that he was coming. Same goes with the Easter bunny and the Tooth Fairy. It's harmless fun. And if anybody claims they were scarred or betrayed because their parents "lied" to them, they are just being drama queens.

MeMe - posted on 07/24/2012

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IDK - "What is an ambulance" compared to "why are you and Daddy not together anymore", are two completely different things. ;)



Nobody here is saying they lie to their kids every chance they get. They are saying, there are certain things that a child (of any age) just does NOT need to know. Such as, their father beating the shit out of their mother. Or their mother being a crack addict before they were born. Or their father having been to prison for looking at child pornography. Or their family pet being ran over, instead of just ran away.



I don't know about everyone but I sure as hell believe in protecting the innocence of children. They grow up way to damn fast. Before we know it, they will be fully knowledgable of more than we would ever want them to be. I, as a mother and a responsible adult, will ensure they are not negatviely affected by "adult" worries, when they are too small to comprehend and process, properly. Let a kid be a kid and leave all the bullshit for us to deal with. They do not deserve nor require knowing everything an adult knows. End of story!

Ana - posted on 07/24/2012

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Since when have lies ever really fixed or helped anything..

My baby is 2 and there is a difference in explaining things in a way in which a person can understand it, and just flat out lieing about it..

If she ask me what's that (an ambulance noice) I say that an Ambulance.. I can't go any further at this time to explain more, because she doesn't understand but I will build on her new word Ambulance later..

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 07/17/2012

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No problem Kristi, I just learned myself a few months ago



< i >< /i > = italics



< b >< /b >= bold



But without the spaces

Kristi - posted on 07/17/2012

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Totally unrelated...but how do you get bold and/or italicized font? Those options would come in very handy when I'm trying to put tone in my comment!

Sorry for the interruption....

; )

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 07/17/2012

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Thank you Jodi. I've only told my older daughter that her father cheated on me. I probably will never tell her that he allowed our roommate to verbally abuse me and assault me then told me I deserved it. I will probably also never tell her that he was mentally and emotionally abusive as well- I may not need to because she can see how he is with her.

What child really needs to know that kind of truth about their parents' divorce? I used to just tell her that sometimes people can't stay married because they just don't get along. Sometimes the truth in the long run is much more damaging than a half truth or a white lie. We as parents need to understand that.

Jodi - posted on 07/17/2012

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Well, my son is 15, and he doesn't know the truth of why my marriage to his father failed. Sure, he has been told we just didn't get along (which we didn't, but not the way he thinks we didn't get along). But there is no way in HELL I will ever tell him the truth of the real reasons. That's just messed up IMO. DO I tell him his father beat me? Raped me? Would you tell your kids this if they asked for the truth? I will put money on it that there is not a single person here who would tell their children THAT truth if they have the best interests of their children at heart. My son will NEVER know that truth from me. Ever. Even when he is an adult. Telling the truth can sometimes be harmful.

Krista - posted on 07/17/2012

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Anyhoodle, I don't give a crap whether people do the Santa thing or not with their kids. That's their business.

I just don't particularly appreciate the implication that I'm a big, untrustworthy liar who will permanently destroy my child's trust in me, just because I DO choose to engage in that bit of fantasy with him, and because I DO sometimes gloss over certain mature facts when explaining things to him.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 07/17/2012

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I'm having no trouble keeping Santa alive because my nearly 8 year old (who saw through her teacher moving around the class pets) believes she saw him 2 years ago at my parents' house on Christmas eve dropping off gifts. I wonder if that was my dad or my mom.



My daughter knows that I'm adopted and that my brother isn't my real brother. And she knows (to a point because it's mostly my MIL doing the talking) how DH's parents got divorced.



ETA: When I found out about my birth mom all I was told was that she was 18 and on welfare and wanted to go back and get her GED so she couldn't raise me. So I believe my parents allowed me to respect her choice instead of villifying her even if everything wasn't true. I'm sure if there was more I'd know by now because we know that my brother's birth father is in a California Penitentary, my brother has a 1/2 brother (who lives in SC now) and that his birth mom had an affair when she had him.

Kristi - posted on 07/17/2012

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Aleksandra--I don't think the Pesident's own speech writing team could have prepared a better comment! So well spoken. You summarized, perfectly, the difference between "lying" to your children and LYING to your children.

"I guess one of the things one has to remember is that a child WILL understand that some things are for adults, incluing information and understanding of certain things."

Spot on. Thank you for sharing your experience and insight!

Shyla--I am lead to wonder about your Christ based teachings when you are still begruding your parents for "lying" to you about Santa. Although limited, in my knowledge of the bible, we are supposed to forgive one another our transgressions. If that is what you want to call enlightening a child about the excitement and fun of magic and make-believe. What kind of example are setting by harboring resentment and bitterness for your parents, for what, 15+ years? I think that is more damaging than "lying" to your children or maintaining boundries between appropriate information for adults and that for children.

In your version of honesty you're going to suck the innocence right out of childhood. Children should be on a need-to-know basis for the "truth." If you were to adopt a child would you tell him/her you're not his/her real parents right off the bat because leading them to believe otherwise is dishonest. When you do decide to tell the child about his/her biological parents, will you tell him/her you rescued him/her from a crack whore and an abusive father? What purpose would that serve except to glorify your heroism? IMO, discretion is not lying. It's common sense.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 07/16/2012

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So Shyla my daughter's grade one teacher was harming her class by having them imagine what 3 stuffed animals were doing and teaching them to write out what they imagined they saw? I guess she should be glad you aren't in charge of the school district or she might find herself out of a job.

I'm glad that my parents didn't tell my daughter who was 3 at the time that her pop (grandpa) had run over her cat. Heck I was 26 when it happened and I didn't like knowing that it happened and wished someone could have fibbed to me about what happened. I'd brough that cat from Texas back to New York and was trying to get her back into being an indoor cat. I didn't like when I was 26 and my dad had to go take his dog to the vet to be put down.

As Johnny said maybe you should consider your incident unique because not everyone has had bad experiances with their parents stretching the truth. My parents have always been very honest with me when it mattered- I found out I was adopted when I was 4 because my parents were in the process of trying to adopt my brother and they had bought me a book called 'Why Was I Adopted'. I'm not permanently scarred from Santa and the Tooth fairy .

Proud - posted on 07/16/2012

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Exactly, in my expereince I hated being lied to so I am not going to do that to my child.



As for the Jesus comment my child is taught about Jesus but I'm not going to push it on her. She makes that decision for herself.



I can get down on my childs level without having to lie to her.



That is the beauty of it. You can raise your child the way you choose and I'll raise mine the way that I feel is right and glorifying to God.

MeMe---(Past And Present) - posted on 07/16/2012

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All I can say is if Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy are so detrimental to children, then the Malls, shops, stores , parades, parties (for kids) and public advertisements would not make such BIG deals about these make-belief characters. I guarantee, if children were being scorned and receiving some terribly negative memories from this play, some child psychologists somewhere, would have rallied enough to have it all banned from the public eye.

I am 36 years of age and I know a lot of people that grew up with these imaginary, magical, make-belief characters/stories in their home. Not one of them are troubled from finding the truth. Well, maybe one or two, that took too much acid and wigged out but I have a feeling they were fucked up for other reasons. ;)

To tell the truth, I do not personally know one family that did not partake in this make-belief during certain holidays. I now work with a JW, so I can say I know of one but one out of all the people I grew up with and now know, is not even worth mentioning.

BTW - My cat was ran over when I was 3. I remember it well. I only WISH, the chance had been there for my parents to tell me she had ran away or something else not as devastating as me seeing her smushed on the road!

I have no issue with others not wanting to take part in being a child with their child, to each is own. Just leave the rest of us alone, that do enjoy every single aspect of our children. They are so innocent and IMO, they deserve for us parents to get down on their level every once in awhile and make some fun KID memories together. If you don't want to do it, cool, you are not raising my kids and I WILL have all the fun in the world with mine. Simply because they grow up way too fast and I want them to have the most fun while they are still young. I plan on savouring every single chance I get with my son and our new one coming. You know, once they are teenagers they are no longer much fun (I know, my daughter doesn't want to do much with Mom, anymore). Just sayin... Oh and she is NOT saddened that there isn't really a Santa, Tooth Fairy or Easter Bunny. She is looking forward to living it up for her little brother. ;)

Johnny - posted on 07/16/2012

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In that case Shyla, you probably should stop telling your kids about Jesus.



Or you could accept that your experience was unique to you and allow other people to live theirs. I certainly wasn't at all upset when I found out that my cat hadn't moved to a new family but was eaten by a coyote. I felt bad for my poor little cat, but I certainly hold no ill will towards my parents for not sharing the gritty details with a 4 year old. And finding out Santa wasn't "real" was greeted by my 7/8 (?) year old self with a shrug. So you see, we are each such individuals that your blanket condemnation of the choices of others is just plain rude and insulting. Sort of like my Jesus comment.

Proud - posted on 07/16/2012

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I think anytime you lie to a child you are harming them.

My parents did the whole Easter bunny, Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy thing with me growing up and I still am upset that they'd lie to me.

I also had a beautiful persian cat that I loved to pieces when I was little. Our dog ended up killing her and my parents told me she had ran away. When I found out the truth it just hurt me and made me resentful and I vowed that I'd never lie to my child.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 07/16/2012

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Ok so I realise what I said yesturday was off about the Santa thing. And I do appoligise But I don't enjoy being told that my child won't trust me or that I lie to my child by allowing her to believe in Santa or the Easter bunny or the tooth fairy. Or that I harmed my child by not telling her the truth about a really messy divorce when she was 3. Or by not telling her that pop ran over her cat when she was also 3 because in my family you don't do that- you just tell them that the cat went to kitty heaven- you don't elaborate. You explain death and divorce and infedelity in ways they can understand.

My older daughter's grade 1 teacher built the class' imagination last year by introducing Class pets that she would randomly arrange around the classroom and would allow to 'cause michief' (yes I know I misspelled that word) and the kids all played along even if they didn't believe it was the pets. Would you say that the teacher was harming the kids by lying?

Karla - posted on 07/16/2012

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IMO when it comes to psychological problems such as cutting or suicide, etc. I believe consulting a child psychologist is in order. The main thing is to help your child build a strong self-esteem. If the parent (or anyone in the family) has chosen to deal with stress with harmful methods, then that behavior could be inadvertently passed on to the child.

One theory on why suicide seems to be a family trait is that knowing someone who has committed suicide validates it as an option. I would think the same is true for other harmful behaviors.That is not the message anyone wants their child to learn. And I think we have learned that "Just say no," doesn't work for everyone.

Use caution, whether you are being totally honest, or telling white lies, neither is a guarantee that your child will somehow be protected from stress, self-inflicting harm, or mental health issues. Keep the lines of communication open no matter how much you are divulging about your own life; be sure your child knows they can talk to you without being judged or turned away.

Stifler's - posted on 07/16/2012

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It must be really boring in your house then. Why don't you do Santa or anything? Please tell me you at least tell your kids not to tell everyone else that their parents allow them to believe in things.

Aleks - posted on 07/16/2012

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Actually Shyla,

Lying is one of the developmental milestones children go through.
Lying is a socialogically necessity to our society - its what gives us ability to mingle and be flexible within social constructs of our cultures.
Does it make it always ok to lie, no... but its not totally wrong, either.

Proud - posted on 07/15/2012

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And that is fine for you but I choose to be upfront with my daughter at all times.

You parent your child the way you want and I'll parent mine the way I find best.

Kristi - posted on 07/15/2012

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Ok Shyla, if you say so...but I'd still love to be a fly on the wall when you explain rape and cutting to a 5 year old.

I sheltered my daughter from certain things that would only serve to hurt her and she and I have a wonderful relationship. She does feel like she can trust me and talk to me about anything. But to hell if I was going to explain to her when she was little that I actually made the choice to cut myself over and over because I had no impulse control and was unable to process my feelings and that I hated myself, etc., she can't comprehend that kind of intricate information. It's bad enough my daughter knows now, for will she turn to cutting when she can't get control over herself all because that is what I did? I've talked till I was blue in the face about what a poor decision this was and how it is not an effective way to release stress or problem solve but if she finds herself desparate and in despair, who knows what she will do. Same idea as to why she didn't need to know everything at 4-5 yr old. Kids want emulate their parents at that age, it's not a far stretch to think she might have tried it because mommy did. IDK, I guess I just have a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that you think it is necessary to be "that" honest when the kids are so innocent and young. But I guess I don't have to, because you are entitled to do things your way and to do what is best for your family without being judged by me.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 07/15/2012

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Shyla, there are plenty of Christians who do allow their child to believe in Santa- my parents are Christian/Catholic and we did Santa. We still do Santa at my dad's family Christmas party because it's fun and even the adults get into it.

I didn't want my daughter to know the truth about her father and step mom, I wanted her to be able to make her own choices about them without having the fact that her father commited adultry and that his new wife went along with it. I'm sorry if you don't agree with the idea of allowing my child to decide how she feels about her father and his new family for herself. I didn't want to feel like I was forcing my child to feel one way or another. BTW, my ex was verbally and emotionally abusive as well.

And you know what? Even with the made up stories, games and fairy tales and omitting the facts about why I'm not married to her father anymore my daughter still trusts me and knows that she can tell me anything real or not. I also didn't have to tell my daughter what her father did because he dug his own grave by not bothering to contact her for months at a time.

Karla - posted on 07/15/2012

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I started out thinking I would parent without lies including Santa and the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. Then somewhere along the way we discovered how much fun these little fantasies are and we perpetuated these traditional stories. The kids mature and figure it out eventuallly; it's not usually traumatic when they realize Santa is the spirit of Christmas, etc.

I think fantasy and imaginary play, such as broccoli is dinosaur food, is very helpful in raising kids. I never looked at these games as lies. The kids always knew my finger puppets were just that, but they still helped entertain the kids for miles upon miles during our trips. Telling the kids we are "going fishing" to help them clean their room (all the things on the floor are "fish" and we are going to catch them) made a chore into a game and everything was put away much quicker and with less stress.

I doubt there is a right way, just preferences. Age appropriate information is recommended, and one can adjust the amount of information without lying. And imaginary games and stories just make life more fun. IMO

Proud - posted on 07/15/2012

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I use to be a cutter myself so I am familar with it. I'd be honest and tell my child what caused the scars, what caused me to cut myself....etc

If my child asked me what rape meant I'd tell them.

My point is I don't care what the subject matter is I am going to be upfront with my child and tell them the truth. I believe by doing that my daughter will always feel comfortable talking to me about anything,

Kristi - posted on 07/15/2012

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Just out of curiosity, Shyla, I am a cutter, I haven't in about a year and a half, but I have hideous scars all over my arms and legs. If I had a toddler or young child, what truth would I tell them about that? Or what if you had been raped and your child over heard you talking about it to someone asked you what that meant? I'm sure you would never allow either of things to happen, but I'm curious to know what you'd say and how honest you'd be about a subject matter more serious than Santa or the death of a family pet. I'm talking about a little kid, not a teenager. And there isn't a one line answer that will get you off the hook because kids don't ask just when question.

Even though I am a strong advocate for marriage and sticking it out and working through your problems, I was not staying in a relationship with a diagnosed sociopath who was abusive in pretty much every way. What would you have me tell my daughter when her dad tried to terminate his rights so he didn't have to pay child support 2 days after the judge told her she had to see her father every other weekend for 3 nights and one night during the week. She was terrified to go back there so the fact that he never showed was a good thing but what if she wanted to see him and he did this? What purpose does it serve by being honest and telling her her dad didn't want to be her dad anymore because he doesn't want to pay child support?

Anyways, she is almost 13 and because of her childhood experiences she was forced to grow up pretty quickly so she is more mature than most of her peers. Now when she asks a qustion I don't hide things from her. But I have to agree with the other moms about not telling your child everything when they are younger like that or when the truth is horrible and it is not something the child needs to/should know about, why give them cause for worry?

Proud - posted on 07/15/2012

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I don't do santa because it is a lie and because I am a Christian. And my child is only 20 months so I don't believe she is telling other kids much.

If I went thru a divorce (which I wouldn't because my husband and I do not believe in it) I'd tell my child the truth.

No I don't do surprise parties either.

Yes, if a pet got ran over I'd tell them the truth. Why lie and tell them oh "fido" ran away.

I am not going to lie to my child.

Krista - posted on 07/15/2012

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Well, you folks can stick to your 100% truthfulness, but all I know is that until you can figure out another way to get my kid to eat vegetables, I will continue to tell him that they're dinosaur food. ;)

I file that under "harmless make-believe", thank you very much. If that makes me a big liar who is raising my kid with no moral compass, then so be it.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 07/15/2012

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Meme, is it bad that when I agree with you I look out the window to see if the sky is falling? :)

MeMe---(Past And Present) - posted on 07/15/2012

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You know, somethings are just not meant for little ears and minds. They tend to worry a lot, especially because they do not have the ability to understand like an adult. I would hope that those parents, that say they do not lie EVER, really do not cause harm by being forthcoming about every negative detail in their parents life, when said child asks (or even when they don't).

I mean, I do my best to not "lie" about most things. However, I do find the best ways to explain things without divulging all information, until they are of a proper age. If I have to leave out some pertinent details or twist it a bit for the sake of their little hearts, I will. Hell, even for my own sanity, I will.

Also, Santa and such, are NOT lies. They are fantasy and a part of imagination. They are magical and children really enjoy having these things as a part of their young lives. So do the parents. I wouldn't have it any other way. ;)

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 07/15/2012

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It must be really boring in your house then. Why don't you do Santa or anything? Please tell me you at least tell your kids not to tell everyone else that their parents allow them to believe in things.

Also Shyla, how would you have explained to your children why mommy and daddy were divorced if you were in my shoes seeing as you don't lie to your kids? I guess suprise parties are out of the question too and if someone ran over the family pet you would come right out with it.

Proud - posted on 07/15/2012

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There is no way I'd tell my child about santa, tooth fairy, easter bunny...etc

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 07/15/2012

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I had to dance around how my ex and I got divorced when my older daughter was younger mostly because I didn't want to change her opinion on her father. He cheated on me and that's why we're divorced. The woman he cheated on me with is his new wife. I don't know how you're supposed to tell the truth about that to a 5 year old. Now that she's almost 8 she knows the truth.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 07/15/2012

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Shyla, so you don't tell your kids about Santa or the toothfairy? There's a difference to me between traditional stories and an outright lie.

MeMe---(Past And Present) - posted on 07/15/2012

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Aleksandra - YES the Pinocchio fib, I have done this, as well. LOL I have tried to convince too!! hehehe

Proud - posted on 07/15/2012

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100% honest with my child.

To me a lie is a lie no matter how small you think it is. To me if you lie to a child then you are basically telling them it's alright to lie because I do it.

Aleks - posted on 07/13/2012

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@MeMe and Jodi

Ha ha ha...re busy tooth fairy! LMAO



I think this happened to us too, once.. he he he..........

Aleks - posted on 07/13/2012

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haven't read any of the responses yet, but I soooooooooo totally lied to my nearly 7yo about how his nose will grow like Pinoccio's if he keeps on lying!! (his new thing at the moment)

LOL!!!!! he he he he,......
(I couldn't believe that I did it, and even tried to convince him when he refused to believe it initially....LMAO!!!!)

Alexis - posted on 07/12/2012

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Dad and I try to be 100% honest with our almost 3 year old who is asking a lot of questions now. The difficult part is explaining things in a way he will understand, one thing that I do is tell him I don't know, when I don't know. I also don't volunteer information that he doesnt ask about if I don't feel he needs to know. If he was to ask though, I would explain truthfully in concepts he would understand. If a subject was to come up that I didnt feel he needed to know about (relationship issues etc), I would tell him that when he is older we will discuss it. To say I don't lie though would be lying. He has asked where his cousin is before, and I told him he was sleeping at home (it was night time) but in reality I didnt know. I did know that answer would satisfy him.

Elizabeth - posted on 07/10/2012

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I am pretty honest with them..However, I want ya to know that I didn't feel one ounce of guilt when my husband took me out for ice cream without them after they had nagged me and fought with each other all freakin day. we said we went elsewhere....I had lots of ice cream..feel no guilt...well maybe...wait...nope..none.

Karla - posted on 06/22/2012

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My mom did talk to us about my dad cheating. It was obvious though because he moved right from our home to his lover's home, also they had previously been in a car accident together; so it's kind of hard to hide that from the kids. What I didn't know until I was an adult was he had been in the relationship for 2 years prior to his break up from my mom.

I won't go on about the rest of the details. I just want to say my dad isn't a bad dad, or a bad man, he was just a bad husband to my mother. He told himself he would never do something like that again, and he didn't. I believe that by knowing the facts about their marriage it helped me learn from his mistakes. I also learned that just because someone makes huge mistakes, doesn't mean they aren't forgivable or unworthy. Even though my dad was stupid in his first marriage, and he put us all through a very hard time, I still found many areas in which I could respect him.

If your child can learn from other's mistakes, then maybe they should know the facts, but told without too much judgment. (Not told out of malice.)

Jodi - posted on 06/22/2012

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Well, I've never told my son the truth about the demise of the marriage with his father, and I never will (it was physically and emotionally abusive).......is it wrong to lie about that? I don't think he needs to know that about his dad, ever.

My husband has also never told his daughter (who is now 20) that he ended the relationship with her mother because her mother CHEATED on him with 4 (yes FOUR) different men. Instead, the conversation is just about how not all relationships work out and they couldn't get along. Is it wrong to lie about that?

This "I NEVER LIE TO MY KIDS" thing? I don't believe it. There are simply some things kids don't need to know the truth.

[deleted account]

I wasn't trying to suggest your experience was wrong just highlight how different people are, people always try to use the well it was done to me and I'm ok argument, but life isn't that simple. I had no issue being left on my own by the side of the road because I knew they were joking, yet when my uncle pretended to chuck me into the harbour I freaked out, I thought he would, he was horrified at my reaction because he'd never hurt me.

Sal - posted on 06/22/2012

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I haven't read all responses yet but my view is the intent behind the lie is what is a deciding g factor to me deciding that truth or a fib are appropirate on each instance Santa Easter bunny Eetc all harmless add to a delihtful childhood, telling you child they drew the best rabbit ever no biggy telling them you wish they could come with you but nanny really needed some help baking when you have date night, how is that hurting, bit when the lye is for selfish self-serving reasons and not with the best interest of the child that I'm not ok with... They are children and a little sugar coating sometimes is a gOod thing, they dont need to be burdened with all our adult problems, my hubby and I were having a tough time last year, I got caught crying when my daughter asked what was wrong I said I kicked my toe, she didn't need to know that financial stress had me stressed to breaking point, and I recently had a miscarriage. The little ones knew I was sick but not about the baby, telling them a baby. In my tummy died would of left my 5year old distrort So I just said I was sick with a very sore tummy, they just don't need to know everything

Sal - posted on 06/22/2012

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I haven't read all responses yet but my view is the intent behind the lie is what is a deciding g factor to me deciding that truth or a fib are appropirate on each instance Santa Easter bunny Eetc all harmless add to a delihtful childhood, telling you child they drew the best rabbit ever no biggy telling them you wish they could come with you but nanny really needed some help baking when you have date night, how is that hurting, bit when the lye is for selfish self-serving reasons and not with the best interest of the child that I'm not ok with... They are children and a little sugar coating sometimes is a gOod thing, they dont need to be burdened with all our adult problems, my hubby and I were having a tough time last year, I got caught crying when my daughter asked what was wrong I said I kicked my toe, she didn't need to know that financial stress had me stressed to breaking point, and I recently had a miscarriage. The little ones knew I was sick but not about the baby, telling them a baby. In my tummy died would of left my 5year old distrort So I just said I was sick with a very sore tummy, they just don't need to know everything

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/22/2012

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Oh and the tooth fairy was very busy here, at times, too. She missed our house a couple of times. She said a big "shit" in her head, when she heard the little girl wake up and say "Mommy, the tooth fairy didn't come. I don't think she liked my tooth!". Yeah, I had to explain how she is probably sooo busy and I was sure she would be by tonight, instead. Of course she was.....LOL

I am really looking forward to being able to do all these things again, with my son. I find it so much fun and exciting. I am like Toni. To see their face light up on Christmas Day or their anticipation the morning after the tooth fairy is so worth it.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/22/2012

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We do the footprints in the snow and leave milk and cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer. My kids love it. It makes it very magical, I think. I love it too, it's nice to use a little adult imagination. ;)



ETA: Toni---If I had siblings with me, it may have been easier and not so scary (I am an only child - I have two half siblings by my Dad but they are 12 and 14 years younger than me and I have never lived with them). We were in a different province, I was by myself on the side of a dirt road (that I have never ever been) and my parents were abusive, so I definitely took them seriously.



No, they never drove away from me again. Then again, a year later they were divorced. I am not sure who's idea it was but probably my Dad's.

[deleted account]

We do Santa footprints by the tree and if I remember we make reindeer food, it's just something fun to do and gives the children a visual aspect if the story, and I get immense pleasure from seeing my kids face light up :-)



It just goes to show how different every child is, my dad used to do the fake drive off from us all the time, we found it hilarious but then we always knew it was a joke and he wouldn't leave us. The day I lost them on the beach though that scared me, I thought they'd left me, they hadn't they were stood to one side watching me, I dawdled and didn't listen to them so they were teaching me a lesson. I hope your parents learnt their lesson and never pulled that kinnd of stunt again.

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