"A lie has speed, but truth has endurance."
~Edgar J. Mohn
Do you regularly lie to your children? According to Science Daily, parents often lie to their kids to get compliance or to make them happy.
The researchers refer to this practice as "parenting by lying." "We are surprised by how often parenting by lying takes place," said Lee. "Moreover, our findings showed that even the parents who most strongly promoted the importance of honesty with their children engaged in parenting by lying."
Since reading this last week, I've been trying to keep track of - if or when - I lie to the kids. My initial thinking was that I don't tell fibs, but I do omit things. I wouldn't dream of making up imaginary creatures like a pacifier fairy, but we do get visits from Santa Claus at Christmas. I've never said Santa was real. I've just never said he's NOT real.
In fact, I may be too honest with my kids. I usually admit to being too busy, tired, irritated, hungry, etc. to do things. Most of the time I do them anyway, but I am upfront about my intentions to only participate for a few minutes in those cases. I also don't gush all over their drawings, dances, jokes, songs, robots, or ideas. I look for talking points, and ask questions, offer compliments where I am genuinely interested, and encourage effort where I know more can be made.
But then I found myself saying we were out of something or refusing to consent to an activity, and not giving the real reason. I wonder how often I do this without realizing it? For example, when asked if I had any more tape for a box today; I said no. It was easier than explaining and possibly starting an argument. The truth is that we do have tape, two kinds even. Robotson then went and found the tape gun. If I had been honest and told him that I didn't want him using any tape because: 1. I have very little left 2. He uses too much 3. He won't let me help him use less. I could have avoided the lie. He probably still would have gone to get the tape gun, but at least my integrity would have been intact. Definitely something I want to be more aware of in the future.
Have you ever looked up the word 'lie' in Wikipedia? My gosh there are a lot of different kinds of lies!