Parents, Kids, and Lying – It’s Complicated

We all grew up with stories and fables about the dangers of telling lies — “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” and “Pinocchio” are among the favorites. But there comes a time when children realize lying is not entirely black and white. This realization usually involves the public embarrassment of parents.

“But Mommy, I heard you say you don’t like her! Mrs. Jones, my mommy says you’re a fake blonde. Does that mean you’re not real? Are you a robot?” A couple of children’s stories explaining bad truths and good lies would come in handy in these situations.

Tuned In Parents - kids and lying

Bad Truths vs. Good Lies

Below are some examples of good lies and bad truths from a conversation I had with my daughter the other morning. She, like most talkative kids, has the tendency to tell people the truth out LOUD . . . a lot. “Sit down; you’re really old;” or “Oops! Your wig is crooked!” and “Your baby is cute even if he smells gross.” All proud parenting moments.

She even over-shares the truth when it’s contrary to common sense. “Yes, we do have outside food and drinks (allergy-free movie snacks) in my mommy’s bag! . . . Sorry, Mommy.”
We drill “tell the truth, tell the truth” into our kids to the point where we forget to teach them to apply reason to the process.

Truth is preferred, but it doesn’t work in every situation. And when children begin to question those grey areas, or you reach your limit on honest outbursts, then it may be time to tell them the truth about lies.

Tuned In Parents - Bad Truths vs Good Lies

Hopefully, my little one won’t wake her great-grandmother up from her naps and say things like, “Just making sure you’re not dead.” I’ll continue to let her unleash her terrible truths on me, however. The girl’s going to need an outlet, or it just might backfire. Besides, she couldn’t offend me if she wanted to. Mommy’s immune. Parents tend to develop a thick skin after being subjected to unfiltered honesty on a daily basis.

Thank you for being tuned in parents. I welcome your comments, suggestions, and tips! There’s more for you, too, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest!

-Elle C.

About Elle C. Mayberry

Elle C. Mayberry is a mom and author, who just released a new children's book with her young daughter. With a passion for parenting and degrees in psychology and "make it workology," she created Tuned In Parents (TiP).

2 comments on “Parents, Kids, and Lying – It’s Complicated

  1. I have one that’s too honest and another that’s going through a lying phase. The rest are somewhere in the middle. Only read articles on how to deal with lying. Haven’t seen it presented this way before. Entertaining and helpful. Thanks

    • Lol, I think you may be among the few that understood this one. The grey areas of anything, much less parenting, aren’t so easy to present. Would be great to get a discussion going, though. Nebulous business, for sure. (But isn’t that the best kind?) ~Elle C.

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