While reading through the news the other day, I came upon a study which found that parents lie to their children surprisingly often.
My first thought; this is a surprise? Really? You needed to conduct a study for this?
My second thought; of course we do. If you think about it, the very basis of childhood is a lie. From the Easter Bunny to the Tooth Fairy. Once the season draws near, we tell our kids to behave because Santa Claus is watching. The naughty list is like a catch-all for bad behavior. And then, we wrap presents, all the while pretending they’re from some jolly fat strange man.
We fib to maintain the peace. For a moment of silence. To keep little feelings from getting too hurt. When because I said so no longer works. When we want to turn the channel from Spongebob Squarepants. When we tell them there’s no chocolate in the house, even though we’re hiding a precious Snicker’s bar in the cabinet.
Of course, I don’t always stretch the truth. There are lessons in life that children are going to have to learn eventually. When 2 of our cats died unexpectedly earlier this year, I told the kids what happened. We had our little funeral and said our goodbye’s. He now knows they’re up in heaven, basking in an endless supply of catnip.
Or is that a lie? Is it considered a lie if I’m not certain myself?
I’m sure that as they get older, there will be a greater variety of more elaborate fabrications coming out of my mouth. Truths that I’m not ready to reveal. They’ll figure out their own honesty soon enough. Meanwhile, I think there might be better subjects worth researching. Like oh, I don’t know, cancer.