by Julie Davidson
You probably have a list of values you want to teach your kids. Things like respect, empathy, and responsibility. Might as well add honesty to the list.
But honesty is a tricky one. Like when you go to the zoo and admission is free for kids under five. If your six year old is short for his age, would you just say he’s under five? You could save eight bucks. Which means more popcorn and soda. And that means you would be the coolest ever (or at least for that day). Hmmm…tempting.
Did you ever swear you’d never use a certain babysitter again? The kids told you she used bad words, talked on her cell phone all the time, and sent them to bed early. But then you were in a bind, and she was the only one available. Do you beg your kids not to tell her you called her a juvenile delinquent?
Have you ever gone grocery shopping with the kids, paid for a cart full of groceries, and just as you squeezed everything into the trunk you noticed there was a carton of milk on the bottom of the cart? The milk the cashier didn’t charge you for? The same milk you really need because you have none in the fridge. You’ve told your kids that you have to pay for what you take. But it’s Friday, and the lines are getting longer, and the kids are getting hungrier.
Lying isn’t good, but it sure is easy. Like telling the kids you’ll buy then that cereal they want next week. You never did it. You took money from the piggy bank and never told them. You said there was no more gum, but there’s a whole stash in the top cabinet.
It’s good for children to hear us telling the truth. Even if it’s not convenient. Except maybe when they ask our weight.