The Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy—these are just some of the lies we tell our children. Most children are raised to believe that their parents know best. Are we actually Pinocchio parenting or lying?
The Lies We Tell Our Children
Unfortunately, we’ve all used little white lies before. I’m sure you’ve used some of these, too:
- “If you make that face again, your face will freeze that way.”
- “Did you just swallow your gum? It’s going to sit in your stomach for the next seven years.”
- “Don’t sit so close to the TV. It’s bad for your eyes.”
Now that I’m a parent, I can’t really blame my parents for some of the lies they used. Kids ask a lot of questions. Sometimes, it’s just easier to lie, especially when it comes to the imaginary creatures surrounding certain holidays.
When Cohen, my six-year-old son, said to me, “Robbie said there’s no such thing as Santa,” my response was “Cohen, what do you believe?” He then talked himself into believing that Santa was real and that Stuart, his Elf on the Shelf, was Santa’s helper. (Insert my sigh of relief!)
I wanted to keep the belief alive…at least for another year. But every holiday, Cohen hears something from kids at school, then he seeks me out to verify the news. Luckily for me, he still wants to believe.
The Easter Bunny Dilemma
Just when I thought I nailed that whole Santa thing, spring rolls around, and I have that loaded Easter Bunny question staring me right in the face. Cohen finally asked if the Easter Bunny is real. I tried to remain calm and remember that honesty is the best policy. But…is it?
If I tell him the bunny is real, I’m just temporarily postponing the inevitable. And what if this is a test? I’ve spent hours lecturing my kids about always telling the truth, and now it’s like they’re giving me the chance to do the same. A white lie is okay sometimes, right? I believe Cohen isn’t ready to find out the cold, hard truth about our furry friend.
I try to seem prepared for the question. My initial response is “Of course”. My instinct is that Cohen doesn’t really want the news, so I feel it’s fine to tell a little white lie and let him keep believing. He is only six, and my daughter is three. It’s okay that they still believe in these fun holiday traditions.
When Cohen is ready for the facts, I’ll be able to tell by the way he asks. It’ll be more direct and more persistent. I will break the news gently and, hopefully, he will understand why mommy and daddy lied. But for now, these white lies will continue. And the Easter Bunny will be visiting our house again this year.
Babies & Toddlers
In addition to the time I devote to being a mom, I also work full-time outside the home, which means my day is hardly ever as simple as nine to five. With an all-too-established schedule, as soon as I walk through the door, my day doesn’t end, but rather just begins. It’s a balancing act, especially with two children, but being a mom is one full-time job that I never want to quit!