Is It OK to Lie to Your Kids – Even a Little?

Posted on Jan 1, 2013 by 4 Comments
Is It OK to Lie to Your Kids – Even a Little?

Is it ok to tell your kids lies, even little white ones, to make life easier?

If you ask most people that, the answer you get is almost always a shocked, decisive no! As much as I hate lying, and as much as I want to say it is never ok, I am not sure I can. We tell our family and friends untruths all the time – and I suppose that at this point in my life I am more open to gray areas than I used to be.  

Have you ever told someone to tell a caller you were unavailable when you were right there? Have you ever told someone that you weren’t angry when you were? What about telling a friend that the new carpet she spent several thousand dollars on looks great – when you really think it clashes horribly with the decor?

White lies – they are part of life. They seem to be especially prevalent once we have kids. We encourage them to eat broccoli by telling them it will make their hair curly (or whatever). We use them to get around tantrums and hurt feelings. We use them to explain why we were bouncing around under the covers with Daddy.

I usually separate the lies into two categories. There are those that protect my young children from information that they don’t need and would only cause them problems in the long run, and then there are the kind that are used to keep me out of trouble of some sort. The first is acceptable to me, but the second is not.

You are probably going to lie to your kids once in awhile. Accept it, move past it, and admit it when you get caught.

What are your thoughts about little white lies?

photo credit: jessicafm via photopin cc

Posted in: Parenting
Marye Audet

Marye Audet is an author, freelance writer, and editor. As a work at home mom she has a unique perspective that encompasses the overwhelming deadlines and commitments of the professional woman as well as the constantly changing needs of a homeschooling mom with a large family. She is the author of one cook book and the creator of Restless Chipotle Media, a network consisting of two food based blogs, a blog for “women of a certain age”, a video site on Youtube, and upcoming blog on kitchen decor, and downloadable eBooks. Marye also is a freelance writer, editor, and book reviewer.

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    I have had to have this discussion with one of my boys recently, that sometimes white lies are okay… and he shouldn’t correct mommy in public when she tells one (which tragically happened recently, prompting this discussion). It was difficult to have to do… but it was an even tougher sell because he wasn’t going for it until we went over quite a few different scenarios of when it would be bad or hurt someone NOT to tell the white lie. Nobody said motherhood would be easy.

  • Pauline Hawkins

    I like your categories, but I would add one: lies that improve imagination and allow kids to dream. These lies fall under the Santa, tooth fairy, Easter Bunny, etc. lies. Those lies are a rite of passage in my eyes. They also help children dream and imagine. I wrote a post recently about this because my son had kids and adults telling him he couldn’t be a wizard or Spiderman, and it devastated him. I had to figure out where I stood with it, and frankly, I think I made the right choice.

  • marye

    Since I still believe in Santa I wouldn’t categorize those as lies. ;)

  • marye

    Teaching the gray areas. Yep.