Most parents tell lies to their children as a tactic to change their behavior. A new study suggests that the most frequent example was parents threatening to leave children alone in public unless they behaved. You know, pretending to a child that they were going to walk away and leave the child to his or her tantrum. Or maybe out of frustration, say what my Dad would on a long car trip with 6 squirmy kids, fighting in the backseat” “If ya’ll don’t settle down, I will stop this car and you will all get out and WALK home!” False promises ‘if you behave’ are not uncommon either! Are you guilty of telling your kids ‘little white lies?’
Another lie that is common, is the false promise to buy a requested toy at some indefinite time in the future in order to get your kid to behave. I for one, am guilty of that. I wish I could say that I never lied to my daughter, but that would be yet another lie.
The worst thing about this is that I hate liars! And I always told my daughter that it was far better to fess up to a wrong, that lie about it and feel twice as bad. But in my mind, at the time of a temper tantrum or bad behavior when she was little, I was guilty of telling her ‘little white lies’ to get her to behave. BAD mama!
Is it ever OK to tell a lie to your kids? When? Which ones?