Should you lie to your children? No one wants to create little fibbers, who grow up to be bigger fibbers... and then criminals... and then, probably, drifters and drug addicts. As you have probably already noticed as a parent, these are the things we worry about day to day. How to prevent our small, angelic little ones becoming a blight on society as adults. It’s all we think about, in fact. Am I creating a wholesome human, or are my influences going to send them down a dark path? So, whether or not it’s ok to tell little white lies, is a valid moral question. However, in some circumstances it’s downright necessary, in my opinion. These are the some of the lies I’ve told my children and why they are worth it.
1. That furry roadkill is just having a little nap.
No one wants to start a deep and emotionally-charged conversation halfway up the M5, with a child who is already hyped and emotionally-charged at the prospect of whatever excitement awaits at the end of the journey. In an ideal world, we would be honest and frank about death and what lies beyond, but sometimes, it can wait.
2. The tooth fairy won’t come if there are holes in the tooth.
Persuading young sugar-obsessed children about the importance of dental hygiene is sometimes tricky. Children have little interest in what lies beyond the next episode of Peppa Pig, so trying to tell them they shouldn’t eat something delicious all the time, because it might cause cavities one day, isn’t a very convincing argument. The possibility of having shame and financial sanctions placed upon them from the hallowed realms of Fairyland, however, is a lot more real, somehow.
3. You won’t get any presents if Santa thinks you’re being greedy.
It’s never wise to overuse the Santa card, it starts to lose its power pretty quickly, so choose your ‘rules’ wisely. As Santa makes all the toys in his workshop and doesn’t need an overdraft to buy them, this is a really good way to instill a little moral discipline, whilst also avoiding too many circles in the Argos catalogue. It’s also quite lovely to see a child really thinking about how much they actually want something, and how and when they would use it, rather than just picking every toy they have ever heard of.
4. When you lie, I can tell by your dimples.
When my son was very small he would try not to smile when he told a lie, and his dimples would rat him out every time. Since then, he is so convinced that I can tell everytime he lies, via the dimple detector, that he finds it impossible to lie, without self-dimpling. It’s brilliant. If you can convince your child you can tell they are lying, it will make it easier to tell when they are lying. Just make sure they don’t do the same thing to you, or this whole system is going to backfire.