As parents, we are expected to show a good example for our kids to follow…at least that’s how it’s supposed to work. So why do we lie to our kids so much? I can almost hear some of you saying, “But Mr. Dazeodrew, we never lied to our kids!” Ok…
Santa Claus is probably the biggest lie we tell our kids. Don’t get me wrong, I did the same thing. I also did the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, and Boogey Man. I know, I know, these are just harmless little things we do to enrich our kids lives…but they are still lies. Little lies about little things.
As a dad, it was almost imperative that I tell a whopper or two to the kids. Things like “we bought you at Walmart and we still have the receipt” or “there’s a troll in the basement so don’t go down there.” Little lies about little things.
Another little lie is that broccoli are little trees and cauliflower are little snow-covered trees. My wife once told the kids that those big rolled bales of hay in white plastic were really giant marshmallows and that’s where they came from. Little lies about little things.
Convinced yet? Do you accept you’re a big fat liar yet? What’s worse is that we sometimes make our children accomplices in our lies…
DAUGHTER: Dad, I know Santa isn’t real.
ME: Well, don’t tell your brothers.
DAUGHTER: Ok, I won’t.
ME: Also, don’t tell them about the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy.
DAUGHTER: Wait, what?
ME: Um, what what?
DAUGHTER: They aren’t real either?
So there we have it. Just like every other lie in the world, the truth eventually comes out. The difference is, when the kids discover we lied about certain things, it gives them the ok to lie as well.
MY BROTHER: You’re the mailman’s kid.
ME: No I’m not!
MY BROTHER: Oh yes, you are! Why do you think you have a big head? (I did have a big head so I had to consider this point).
ME: Um, because you said dad dropped me on it a lot when I was a baby.
MY BROTHER: I was just being nice.
ME: Wait, what?
MY BROTHER: Um, what what?
ME: Dropping me on my head is being nice?
MY BROTHER: Well, when dad found out you were the mailman’s kid, he dropped you on your head a lot.
ME: Ok, now I’m just confused…
MY BROTHER: That’s because the mailman isn’t very smart and you take after him.
So as you can see, the lies just continue to perpetuate from generation to generation. We often punish our kids for lying, but fail to realize we taught them how. We’re all a bunch of hypocrites.
Of course, there’s no easy way out of the whole Santa, Easter Bunny, and Tooth Fairy mess we’ve created through the years. If we tell the kids the truth too early, they get made fun of by their friends. If we tell the kids too late, they get made fun of by their friends. If we deny Santa and the rest right at the get-go, the kids will hear about them from their friends and view us as liars anyway, because obviously, their friends wouldn’t lie about something that serious…but they definitely think we would.
Possible moral of this story? Do what you want with your kids…you’ll be labeled a liar either way.