Welcome to the February 2013 Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival: Honesty
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival hosted by Authentic Parenting and Living Peacefully with Children. This month our participants have written about authenticity through honesty. We hope you enjoy this month's posts and consider joining us next month when we share about Self-Expression and Conformity.
I once saw a documentary about how young children that lie are smarter than those that don't. The show didn't encourage lying, but made a valid point. The child that realizes they can tell you something that isn't true and you won't know otherwise has a good understanding on a complex idea.
I remember, as a child, being accused of things that I didn't do. How can you prove your innocence as a kid? This has had a huge effect on me, as a parent. If/when my children lie to me, I feel powerless to do anything about it unless I have undeniable proof of my accusation. This has been crippling as a disciplinarian. My husband helps to balance me, but I still strongly resist consequences for misdeeds that can't be proven.
In general, we encourage honesty in our home. Consequences for a misdeed confessed are much easier than those for misdeeds discovered. If someone asks my opinion, I find a nice way to be honest. This is different than being blatantly honest. I think there is a fine line in realizing you can be honest without stating everything. What I mean is, if you have something to say that will be hurtful to me and not benefit me in any way, just keep it to yourself. (My husband does not hesitate to tell me when my armpits stink!)
So how, after all that, do I "do" Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy? I've often considered not "doing" these things, but when the time comes for each I just can't seem to bare not following through. These are traditions we enjoy. I like to think of them as make believe rather than lies. When my children are old enough to ask me, outright, whether Santa (or another character) is real, I just ask them what they think.
I think there is a big difference between lying and making believe. Sasha is constantly pretending to be a cat, a dog or any of a plethora of characters. I have enjoyed watching her imagination blossom. What better way to show her that she can be anything she wants as an adult than by encouraging her to be anything she wants now?
Complete honesty can be difficult to maintain in a family. Do you think its necessary?
Visit Living Peacefully with Children and Authentic Parenting to find out how you can participate in next month's Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
- Why Is It Considered Normal To Lie To Children? - Laura at Authentic Parenting wonders why people lie to children on a regular basis
- A Lie Is A Lie - Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama outlines ten reasons why she believes parents lie to their children on a more than casual bases.
- Telling Truths - Survivor at Surviving Mexico writes about the difficulty in raising a bi-cultural child when cultural norms are not mutually exclusive, specifically in the area of lying.
- Honesty in Illness and Death - Laura at WaldenMommy:Life Behind the Red Front Door writes how she and her husband strive to be open and honest with their Herd of children about tough subjects, especially death.
- Talking Honestly About Death - Amy W. at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work, is glad she chose to be honest with her children about the deaths of their pets, despite her fears of upsetting them.
- Freedom through Honesty - At Living Peacefully with Children, Mandy speaks to how honesty allows us to break free of the chains which bind us.
- Guilty Children? - Jorje of Momma Jorje touches on the many ways lies (and accusations of lies) have impacted her abilities as a parent.
- Choosing Our Words: Everyday Honesty With Children - In her guest post at The Badass Breastfeeder, Alice discusses the importance of being honest with children, even when it seems easier not to.
- Truth/Lies...Accuracy, Honesty...Love - Mari from Honey on the Bum talks about how a shift in perspective helps her deal with inaccurate statements and secrets with her kids.