1 - He's not stupid. He saw the box full of chocolates, and helped me put it back in the pantry.
2 - I felt like I was letting someone lie to him without stepping in, and that he was already starting to learn that he can't always trust what FIL and SIL tell him.
And it just got me thinking about how often I hear people say these kinds of things to little kids. Am I just naive, and this is one of those things that you say you're never going to do but then end up doing? I feel like my parents were always honest with me, even when it was harder to do so, but I always trusted them as a result. I try really hard to always be honest with ds, even if he doesn't understand what I'm saying, and even if it's the harder thing to do.
And then I started thinking about Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, etc., which I plan on doing. Am I just being hypocritical, or do you think there is a difference? I feel like there is a difference, but can't explain really what it is.
Would you have said anything to FIL and SIL?
I think it is always important to treat kids with respect. And I do think that lying to them is very wrong. But I also must admit that I consider there to be various "degrees" of lying. We all tell "little white lies" from time to time and I think that in certain circumstances it's the right thing to do.
Your son will one day have to understand the difference between a "good" lie and a "bad" lie, but at his tender age he's far from that. In which case I think it was wrong of your IL's to say what they did. Putting myself in that situation, I would feel uncomfortable about it, too. Besides, that was not a situation where lying was the best thing for your son's feelings and understanding of the situation, because he was old enough to understand that he can't have everything, and you are able to explain to him why. Lying was the "easy way out" for your IL's, so that's why I think it was wrong.
Homeschooling, Homesteading Mama to DD ('02) and DS ('04)
I figure once a kid cathces onto a parent's lies, it's all downhill from there.
momatheart - I too have recently come to the same conclusion! I liked what you had to say about lies damaging the soul... for me, it's all about karma.
On a side note, we recently removed the TV from our home. My son wasn't addicted per se, but did enjoy watching more than I was comfortable with, and so I was prepared for a bit of a battle. I did wonder about telling him that the TV was broken, or something of the like but just didn't feel good about it. Instead, I told him the truth: that we had put the TV away for awhile so that Mommy, Daddy and DS could spend more time together. He not only understood me, he was completely fine with it. I then didn't have the extra burden of later questions such as, "when is the TV going to be fixed?" I was never so glad that I hadn't resorted to lying to him. Honestly, I wondered how I ever thought that it was the better option?????
I hate when parent's lie to kids. I sometimes go through great complicated explanations to my 16 month old to avoid the simple easy lie. It takes a lot of work, but I think it is important for kids to trust what their parents say.
In response to how to deal with situations like the one you've described, I agree that people follow the lead of the parent. I suspect your ILs were just trying to help, and that if you gently corrected them (oh no grandma, we just put the chocolate away for another day), they'll get the picture after a couple times.
And I think I will do what you suggested, Khrisday, next time it comes up. I was just so shocked that I didn't know what to say, but now I will be a little more prepared.
I will admit that I am not always truthful with everyone (always with dh and ds though), and I actually am becoming increasingly uncomfortable with it, as I see my actions through the eyes of my ds, and I don't always like what I see.
Regarding "white lies" (what does that mean anyway), I still think it's a fine line. I mean, I will continue to tell my inlaws that the reason we don't want to go to their vacation home this particular weekend is because ds hasn't been sleeping well there and it sucks for us to be up all night (which is true), but won't tell them that it's also because I can't stand to hear MIL and SIL bicker the whole time (the bigger reason why we won't go). Because there is nothing to be gained by doing this. We have had these talks before, and nothing changed, so why create another needless family drama?
But I don't want to tell someone I'm busy if I'm not, just because I don't want to do something. This is not the example I want to set for ds. Like Embee mentioned, even more so to just make my life easier in the long run (no follow up lies needed), but also to be a person of stronger moral character.
And yes, imaginary play. Thank you for putting words to what I was thinking. I will tell my children the truth about Santa Claus et. al. when they are old enough to ask (I remember my parents doing this, my sister and I were probably around 5 or so when it happened), but until then it's like a fun magical game that we play.
I continue to be shocked at the lies I hear parents tell their kids, but this was the first time it happened with ds. This is important enough to me to say something the next time it happens. Because the other example I want to set for ds is that you stand up for what you believe in, even when it may be uncomfortable for others around you. And being the little buddha baby that he is, I am being forced to learn this lesson myself, through him. He is indeed a wise teacher, that little guy.
I don't think she understands that A) she is lying or that B) she is robbing them of the opritunuity to learn self control, patentience whatever when she trys to soften things with a lie. Instead they are only learning that GM is not to be trusted because she lies and that lying must be OK.
The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it. We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.
I do think that sometimes a little lie to save someone's feelings when the truth isn't worth the hassle, or to keep your privacy etc...I don't think that is wrong. But I do really admire you mamas who are trying to resolve never to lie. I can't help but think of that Jim Carrey movie ("Liar Liar" ?) and what an interesting lesson that was in the role of the Little White Lie.
Homeschooling, Homesteading Mama to DD ('02) and DS ('04)
Another idea for dealing with other people -- I usually try to pull my kids aside from other people (by going into a different room, or moving out of ear shot at the park, etc.) when I need to deal with their behavior. I started doing this because one of my DDs tends to put on a bit of a show to see what will happen when other people are watching, but is much calmer if it is just me and her. An advantage for us is that then the extended family isn't around to "help."
Like today, I had Dd in the sling. I was out with my mother, and made a stop at her haircutter for her to make an appointment. The haircutter wanted to see the sling, so I undid my coat, and the next thing I knew she was tugging at it!
Dd has a big personal space and dislikes strangers, so she cried. Everyone wanted to stick something in her face, dangle something at her, noise at her, to make her stop. My M.O. is to let her tell her story to me and listen attentively. If I take her to a quiet place she will cry, and sort of pantomime what happened to upset her. Like point to the stranger and then tug on the sling. I'll say something affirming like "Yes, that woman touched the sling and you didn't expect it." Story told, Dd will settle down, become her smiley self again, and we'll be on our way.
But I had to practically mow down everyone in the place to get Dd to a secluded seating area where she could really settle down.
We, as the parents, know best how our children will respond to things, and it's our choice how to appease them when they are disconcerted or upset.
Now, back to the topic.
Frankly, I've been a surprised by how quickly others jump in with "no no" or whatever when I'm standing right there--before I've even had the chance to assess and handle the situation (most times of course, the NO NO was offered before DS has even had the chance to commit the unspeakable act and of course is never offered with explanation, redirection... nothing). I don't know if they think they're helping me out, as if I'm not aware of whats happening or what! I've never given anyone a reason to believe that, I'm extremely 'tuned in' parent. : *sigh*
I do find however that the ones who are most likely to speak up and parent ahead of me are those without children. Strange? Both sets of GPs are actually fairly decent about this but we've got some aunties and uncles who feel it's their duty to step in quickly. I feel so bad for my son when he hasn't even had the chance to reach up and grab that wine glass off the table and is actually pre-emted by three or four adults saying "NO NO!" Gees, poor kid. It's hard enough to hear it from me, must less three giant people! I have had a few "moments" with the ILs about this very thing.... in case you hadn't noticed.
Suffice to say, excellent point....
I think your way of dealing with your daughter's feelings is excellent - and it is so sad that most people are so uncomfortable with honest emotions if those emotions happen to be sadness or anger. I think that's why your post isn't off topic - because it is still about honesty. The reason why most people lie to kids is to avoid dealing with the real feelings that may be brought about by telling the truth.