Do you ever lie about your childs age? - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-19-2010, 06:34 PM
 
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When it comes to ethics, I cant have a serious argument with anyone who feels strongly that lying is wrong, but in the same breath thinks its ok to systematically exclude all low income children from cultural and educational places.
And yes I consider all children are *entitled* to be exposed to such things.
I think that education falls into the category of entitlement. This is not the same as entertainment. I would distinguish Disney Land from the zoo. But i would have no real desire to take my kids to disney land, even if i could afford it.
As for the possibility of stealing organic lentils, i dont steal, and on the whole dont lie. But i do have food stamps that pay for organic foods, and are now accepted at many organic outlets.
Anyway, im out.
Maya
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Old 03-19-2010, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by contactmaya View Post
When it comes to ethics, I cant have a serious argument with anyone who feels strongly that lying is wrong, but in the same breath thinks its ok to systematically exclude all low income children from cultural and educational places.
I've heard no one make a sweeping statement like that. There are plenty of cultural and educational places that are free or very low cost (such as your aquarium after 3 pm on Fridays). Most have occasional free days as well, like Free Night of Theater or summer Shakespeare in the Park programs.

Can every child, regardless of family income, have every cultural and educational experience? Nope, of course not. These places aren't charities - most are private businesses. That's life in a capitalist country.

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As for the possibility of stealing organic lentils, i dont steal, and on the whole dont lie. But i do have food stamps that pay for organic foods, and are now accepted at many organic outlets.
According to my moral compass, you stole the price of one admission for a 4 year old from your aquarium. I understand that you don't see it that way, but that's how I see it.

 
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Old 03-19-2010, 08:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by contactmaya View Post
When it comes to ethics, I cant have a serious argument with anyone who feels strongly that lying is wrong, but in the same breath thinks its ok to systematically exclude all low income children from cultural and educational places.
And yes I consider all children are *entitled* to be exposed to such things.
I think that education falls into the category of entitlement. This is not the same as entertainment. I would distinguish Disney Land from the zoo. But i would have no real desire to take my kids to disney land, even if i could afford it.
As for the possibility of stealing organic lentils, i dont steal, and on the whole dont lie. But i do have food stamps that pay for organic foods, and are now accepted at many organic outlets.
Anyway, im out.
Maya
I sort of agree that kids should be exposed to things. But what the "things" are varies. In my area like I said there are super expensive things, but there are free or low-cost local museums, etc.

Also exposed is a lifetime thing - I don't think at 4 that a child is entitled to go to an aquarium. A fishtank at a store or a local creek can have some of the same impact.

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Old 03-19-2010, 08:23 PM
 
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Being entitled to an education doesn't mean being entitled to every thing that has any educational value. How about stealing books? Or art supplies? Or educational toys?
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Old 03-19-2010, 08:39 PM
 
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Being entitled to an education doesn't mean being entitled to every thing that has any educational value. How about stealing books? Or art supplies? Or educational toys?
No kidding! And where do you draw the line? What if I want my child to go to the very best private school in our town, but there is no way we could ever afford it. Does that mean I should lie to get financial assistance?

The attitude of entitlement from some people here is just astounding.

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Old 03-19-2010, 08:53 PM
 
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Being entitled to an education doesn't mean being entitled to every thing that has any educational value. How about stealing books? Or art supplies? Or educational toys?
Excellent point.

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Old 03-19-2010, 11:15 PM
 
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I'm not sure I want to spend any more time debating this but I will say just a few more things...

I think it's easy to say Never Ever Lie about your kids' ages when you have lots of opportunities available to you... but there are many parts of the country where there aren't museums with free days or free zoo passes from the library. Some people struggle just to pay for the gas to get them to the museum or aquarium in the first place, or the parking fees once they're there. Some of these places receive government funding & therefore tax dollars are being used for something many people are unable (financially) to benefit from. I do feel these places should be more open to lower income families. I don't think that those who fudge ages a bit have an 'attitude of entitlement' -- I think they just want to expose their kids to the same educational/enrichment activities that everyone else gets to enjoy, and struggle to find a way to make that happen. I also think there is a big difference between 'rounding down' by a few days/weeks ("my 2y 1m old is still under 2") and saying your 3 or 4 year old is under 2. But I can definitely see how it makes it difficult to draw the line when you start fudging it by a few days, then a few weeks... and sooner or later it's months or even years. You have to draw the line somewhere... But still, I would personally never fault someone or accuse them of 'stealing' if they lied about a few days difference (especially when the child still is really 'along for the ride' & too young to really participate, even if they are technically a few days/weeks over the age limit).

That being said, I really do feel this thread has changed my view on the issue & I thank all those who've contributed so far, this is a great discussion topic.

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Old 03-20-2010, 12:58 AM
 
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My kids are so very proud of their ages that they would never let me tell anyone a different age. I'm sure of that. I have no moral compass on this and if you lie here and there to save a buck or two or if you need to get your kid in somewhere that is sort of age restricted well it doesn't bother me and I pass no judgment.

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Old 03-20-2010, 02:33 AM
 
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I'm not sure I want to spend any more time debating this but I will say just a few more things...

I think it's easy to say Never Ever Lie about your kids' ages when you have lots of opportunities available to you... but there are many parts of the country where there aren't museums with free days or free zoo passes from the library. Some people struggle just to pay for the gas to get them to the museum or aquarium in the first place, or the parking fees once they're there. Some of these places receive government funding & therefore tax dollars are being used for something many people are unable (financially) to benefit from. I do feel these places should be more open to lower income families. I don't think that those who fudge ages a bit have an 'attitude of entitlement' -- I think they just want to expose their kids to the same educational/enrichment activities that everyone else gets to enjoy, and struggle to find a way to make that happen.
I completely disagree. For the past 18 months *we* are that family you described. And as such there are things that we do not do with our children. However, if it's something we really think they'd enjoy or gain benefit from, then we find a way to do so without lying. For example, while our trash pickup includes recycleables, a local gas station has an aluminum can turn in place that pays you 30 cents a lb I believe it is. We save up cans and ask friends to do the same, and in no time we've got $20 which will cover just about any activity in the area. Not only do our children not see us lying about their ages and learn that that's ok from us, but they also see us find creative ways to earn the money for the fun things we want to do. As DH likes to say, nobody in this country owes us a darn thing, so we work to get what we want. If someone does give us reduced admission or a free day (which we also watch for) then that's a generous gesture that's much appreciated and not something that we expect.
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Old 03-20-2010, 10:28 AM
 
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There are many educational opportunities unavailable to me because I moved from the Chicago area to southern Illinois. Many, many people don't have aquariums (aquaria?) available to them. There are many things that impact what any given person can do.

Have you suggested to these places that they consider charging half or giving the senior rate to people who have EBT cards? Show an EBT card, pay half price? Something like that. I think it's a good idea to discount things based on income, I just don't like the idea of lying to get a discount.
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Old 03-20-2010, 01:37 PM
 
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The really great thing about giving a discount to families with WIC/medicaid/ebt is that the income checking is only done once and it's very discreet for those families (according to my friend who had the WIC discount).

I thought of another thing that good communities have. Community centers. Growing up the parks and rec program (in PDX) would have a few classes offered at a much lower cost ($10 or even free vs $40) so that lower-income kids could try things out. They'd also have scholarships that you could ask for. The activities director at our nearest center even asked my mom to send families to her if Mom found out they couldn't pay for things.
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Old 03-20-2010, 02:42 PM
 
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Really, if you're going to teach your child not to lie, that's something you should model or risk being seen as a hypocrite. If you think there is a real reason why the rule shouldn't apply to the child? Speak with someone in charge. If they refuse to bend, accept it graciously and move on.

I've had times when my kids were over the kids' menu age, but wanted something from it. I've simply asked - I don't recall ever having an issue. Admissions? If we can't afford it? We don't go. If we can, I make sure that my kids' ages are given accurately.

As for the comment made about Senior prices, etc. I work retail, and we do have a senior day, when they get a discount. We're not permitted to ask - because too many people get offended. (I have had some of my girls yelled at for daring to think someone was old enough for a senior discount.) Then, the ones who didn't think to ask come back and are all offended that we didn't just give it to them! There's no winning.
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Old 03-20-2010, 06:34 PM
 
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This thread presented a variety of very interesting opinions. Thanks to all who took the time to respectfully debate this issue.

Since the same feelings seem to be being re-hashed at this point, I am going to close the thread to further posting.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to PM me.


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