Honesty can be the best Policy

Honesty can be the best Policy image

Honesty can be the best Policy

Honesty can be the best Policy

 

So I was perusing through the internet just looking at unusual things like, Superhero movies coming soon, and the best recipes for Kale, and funny dad stories. I came across a bunch of exaggerations that Parents have told their children through the years.

  1. “No, we’re not there yet.”  “Hey, did you know that if you sit real quiet in the car, it makes the car go faster so you’ll get there quicker?”
  2. “Yes sweetie, If you put a slice of ham in the disc drive of your computer it will play a short informational video about pigs

For most parents, small fibs are a no-brainer. They’re fun, carrying on a magical family tradition. I decided to see what was the best course of action and found this information.

But is that the only kind of untruth we tell our kids? What if they ask us whether fairies are real, how babies are made — or about death or scary news events or whether we ever smoked cigarettes? Used drugs?

It can be tricky to balance preserving the wonders of childhood with keeping our credibility. Young children should have a healthy dose of fantasy, but they also need to trust us and look to us to help them understand their world. As kids get older, their questions get heavier and can be harder to answer.

Parenting experts talked about when it’s okay to tell our kids a white lie, what to do when we get caught, and when we should fess up and tell them an uncomfortable truth (and how to do that).

Here’s a scenario: Your daughter wants to go ice skating, but you don’t feel like going or can’t make it work with everyone’s schedule. In a moment of weakness, you say the ice rink is closed. The next day your daughter hears from a friend who went skating. She catches you in a lie.

That deception is not for the child’s betterment, it’s a parent coming up with a lazy answer. It’s a parent saying, ‘I don’t feel like getting pushback from my kid,’” said Alyson Schafer, a parent educator and author who lives in Canada.

Those little lies can cause big harm, she said.

“Kids globalize and say, ‘My parent is a liar. Are they also lying about loving me?’ The security system of the child is undermined. Kids need a lot of stability,” Schafer said. “We’re modeling that lying is acceptable.” This can especially be a problem with Foster Children who are looking for security and a bond with you.

When it comes to the birds and the bees, experts say answer your kids’ questions directly and honestly as soon as they ask. It might be hard for you, but if you start when they’re very young, it won’t be uncomfortable for them unless you make it that way.

It’s important to use correct terms for body parts and explain how the body works, both to educate and to protect children. Children who understand their bodies are more confident, which is a defense against predators, she said. Predators carefully select and groom their victims, and they don’t tend to choose kids who are assertive and self-assured.

Kids who talk about these things at home are safer than their peers who learn from friends and the Internet,” Dr Hoefle said. “They are less likely to be approached by a predator, more likely to say no quickly, not as easily influenced by people on the Internet. Knowledge is power.”

The same goes for other hard topics, such as the death of a pet. Experts say you’re not doing your kids any favors by saying kitty is sleeping or went to the vet when she actually died. Kids can handle the death of a pet if you explain the cycle of life in a compassionate and accurate way. Families can honor kitty by having a funeral or ceremony acknowledging the pet’s life and place in the family.

This will help them begin to understand death, something everyone must deal with at some point.

As children get older the questions will get harder and more personal. It’s important to figure out why they’re asking. If they’re teenagers, did they see something at a party? Are they thinking about trying marijuana? Are they thinking about becoming sexually active?

Think of it as a positive, an opening to talk to your teens about drinking, drugs or other topics that can be hard to bring up, said Laelia Gilborn, a Washington-based therapist who works with children and teens.

“I tend to err on the side of honesty. You could say, ‘I did this one time, and I regretted it and I felt terrible after.’ Use it as an opportunity to create an open atmosphere for kids to ask questions, because as they get older, that’s what you want.”

Your honesty paves the way for theirs, she said. It doesn’t mean you have to tell them every little detail of your life; some things can be glossed over, and everyone needs a measure of privacy.

 

John Salisbury

NBFS REcruiter – Foster Parent