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This isn't really a parenting question, because I'm not actually the parent of the children involved. I have a carpool of 2 kids that I drive to school. They are 5 and 7. Both kids love my little clicker that I use to open to gate to the garage at school (where I work). They bicker over who can use it. The other day I let the 7 year old use it, and then the 5 year old asked if he could be the one to press the button to "close" the garage, so without really thinking I handed it to him, he pressed the button and garage closed. He was thrilled with this and it seems to have evolved into the 7 year old opening the gate, and the 5 year old "closing" it. I put closing in quotes because the button has no effect on the gate closing -- it's something that happens automatically a certain amount of time after the gate opens. The 5 year old, however, does not know that.

The other day my 10 year old came to school with me, and noticed this. Later that week I took him to work in the evening and he opened the door. He then "closed" it, and I commented that he didn't actually need to do that. He asked me why I lied to the 5 year old.

The thing is, he's right. I'm scrupulously honest with my own kid (except when I lie through my teeth, like here http://www.mothering.com/discussions...238&highlight=) but I generally don't lie unless it's obvious.

Anyway, would you own up to the 5 year old that he's not actually closing the gate, or let the lie of omission continue? Having him believe what he believes is quite convenient, because they don't bicker, but I could solve the bickering other ways.
 

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I am all for honesty but this just doesn't seem like a big deal to me. I wouldn't make some big announcement to the 5 year old. It just seems unnecessary. If the kid wants to use the clicker then let him use the clicker.
 

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I probably would say something to the 5 yr old just so you can let your other kids know that you made it right. Doesn't have to be big just as the 5 yr old is clicking it you can say- "it goes down anyway but its fun to pretend with the clicker isn't it?" I don't think it's a big deal at all except that your kid called you on it so it would be a simple matter to fix it and restore your child's faith in your honesty.
 

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I don't think it's lying to refrain from telling someone that something they believe, that makes them happy, isn't true. The other day my daughter dropped a black crayon under the table at a restaurant and when she climbed under to find it, she found a pink crayon that someone had dropped there. She decided that her black crayon had magically turned into the pink one. It made her happy to think that, why should I tell her otherwise. I wouldn't participate in the untruth, but I would just wait until he figures it out on his own. And if he is upset when he does, I would just tell him that you knew he enjoyed closing the gate and you wanted him to have that enjoyment and you figured eventually he'd figure it out, which he did. I would probably use this same explanation for your 10 year old.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by junipermuse View Post
I don't think it's lying to refrain from telling someone that something they believe, that makes them happy, isn't true. The other day my daughter dropped a black crayon under the table at a restaurant and when she climbed under to find it, she found a pink crayon that someone had dropped there. She decided that her black crayon had magically turned into the pink one. It made her happy to think that, why should I tell her otherwise. I wouldn't participate in the untruth, but I would just wait until he figures it out on his own. And if he is upset when he does, I would just tell him that you knew he enjoyed closing the gate and you wanted him to have that enjoyment and you figured eventually he'd figure it out, which he did. I would probably use this same explanation for your 10 year old.
 

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I'd probably tell the ten year old that it makes the five year old feel important and keeps the kids from fighting. A ten year old is old enough to understand a little pretending for the good of all.
 
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