All Woman

Lies we tell our children

Donna Hussey-Whyte

Monday, August 27, 2012    

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AS parents we all try to teach our children the value of possessing good morals and principles, and in particular, the importance of not lying. Sometimes we even give them a good spanking or punishment if they are caught in a lie.

But while we claim to be the epitome of truth, how many of us can honestly say we have not lied to our children under the guise of 'it's necessary' or 'they are too young to understand the truth right now' or even because telling them the truth would have been too embarrassing for us?

As parents we lie to our children for various reasons. These include to save time, because we don't know the answers, because it's easier than telling the truth, and to protect our children or ourselves.

All Woman asked some parents about lies they have told their children and got these responses:

1. "This is Uncle Fred."

Forty-one-year-old Pauline said being a single mom was not a bed of roses, and in a quest to find a replacement dad, she sometimes had to invite her serious male friend home. Whenever this happened she would tell her then five-year-old daughter that he, now the stepfather, was her uncle who had come to visit for a few days.

2. "We were wrestling."

For Omar, father of four, it was bad enough when his four-year-old son walked in on him making whoopee with his wife, but the explanation he quickly thought up still has him embarrassed. He explained to the child that his parents were just wrestling and that the sounds he heard were because they both love playing together so much.

3. "Babies come from the sky."

While the lies regarding the method through which they entered the world vary from parent to parent, one of the easiest things for some parents to say is that babies come from the sky, thus eliminating the possibility of having to explain the procedure of pregnancy and childbirth to a very young child. It's not exactly a lie, some say, as babies come from God, who supposedly resides up top. Other explanations involve the stork, angels, and even being delivered at the front door by Santa Claus.

4. "I fell asleep and God put you there".

"How did I get in your belly?" When three-year-old Kishae asked her mother this question after seeing a picture of her mother while she was pregnant with her, 24-year-old Dorain said she opted to tell a not-so- deceitful lie, going off the understanding that we're all created by God. She told the child that she fell asleep and God put the baby inside. However, not satisfied, Kishae asked, "Did you eat me mommy?"

Dorain then referred the child to her father and grandmother for further explanation.

5. "It's a balloon".

Ann-Marie recalled having her parents tell her this lie about condoms as a child, and for years she grew up believing this.

"I never thought anything of it," she said. "I believed them and thought that it was just an oily balloon!"

6. "That gay only means happy".

When Tanya's six-year-old said she'd seen on the Internet that Spongebob and Patrick were gay, and asked what gay meant, she used the 'other' definition.

"I told her they were happy, very happy, and the best of friends," Tanya said. "I didn't want to help spread some Internet rumour, and I didn't think she was old enough for the other definition of gay."

7. "That Santa can't stand the heat in Jamaica and the tooth fairy only comes for the first four teeth."

"I don't want to quash my five-year-old's belief in fairy tales just yet, so when she insisted on staying up late to see Santa, I told her that the real Santa can't come to the tropics because it's so hot and he really needs chimneys, and so he mails the toys to the parents," Julianne said. "I also told her, when I realised that she expected to find money from the tooth fairy under her pillow for every tooth lost, that the tooth fairy only comes for the first four, because the other teeth aren't as fascinating."

8. "That if you don't eat your vegetables and eat only sweets, your heart will pack up and leave your body."

"I told my four-year-old that his heart health depended on him eating his fruits and veggies, and if he didn't, his heart would pack and leave to live in someone else's body," Michael said. "He got really concerned that his heart wasn't happy with his behaviour, and he ate the broccoli like a champ."

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