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Is It Ever OK for Parents to Lie to Their Children? [POLL]

Lying to your kids
CubaGallery, Flickr

Most parents lie to their children at sometime or another. Come on guys, we all do, whether it’s to protect the child, or because the child may not be mature enough to handle the situation. Maybe it’s a lie about what happened to the hamster or goldfish, or about Santa and the Easter Bunny. Maybe it’s a lie about the real reason Mom and Dad are getting divorced, because kids don’t need to know absolutely everything. Some lies are justifiable. Others are less so. But is that true? Whatever the situation it seem parents lying to their kids seems to be the norm.

According to Dr. Peggy Drexler, a psychologist and author, a new study published in the International Journal of Psychology says 84% of parents lie to kids to get them to behave better. The most common:

“If you don’t come with me now, I will leave you here by yourself,” followed by false promises for a toy or other reward in exchange for compliance.

Sound familiar? It does to me.

Lies, or so-called white lies, you tell your children may come back and bite us in the “you know what.” For instance, a story I read told of a woman who’s mother told that her Daddy was in the hospital because she wouldn’t listen to her teacher at school. Thirty years later, these are lies that stuck with the woman and she felt betrayed.

That story may be extreme, but the lesson we all should take from that story, is be very careful when dealing with your children. Ask yourself if this lie is even necessary, or will it lead to bigger problems later.

So, when my daughter Chloe, was little, yes, I would tell her lies to protect her. But I did have someone tell me once, that if your child is old enough to ask you about certain things like sex, or what we call certain body parts, that you should just give a direct answer and not go into detail. That came in handy and seemed to work for me.

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