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When is it OK to lie to our kids?

(38 Posts)
spidermama Wed 06-Jul-05 21:26:50

Most of us perpetrate the big ones (Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy).
But do you remember how you felt when you realised it was all a big porkie?

gigglinggoblin Wed 06-Jul-05 21:31:39

i was at a kids party the other week and only just realised that pass the parcel is fixed. am 26 but it never occured to me before. makes me feel all snuggly that my mum did that for me

my mum said it was only when she bf me that she realised milk wasnt made from grass like her mum told her. think she just felt daft

fastasleep Wed 06-Jul-05 21:33:54

I was a genius child (it soon wore off) and at the age of 2 explained to my mum how santa couldn't possibly exist...

And then later on explained that I knew the tooth fairy was really her because if she got drunk my tooth would still be there in the morning!

Some kids get really upset though don't they! I don't know whether to tell the truth or not or when or how or anything with my own!

fruitful Wed 06-Jul-05 21:34:40

I don't remember being bothered. But then honesty was never something my parents were hot on. Certainly "lying is wrong" was a concept I learnt as an adult .

I've already told my 3-yr-old that Santa is a fun game we play. You do realise you've opened an old MN can or worms, don't you? . We normally save this row for December though.

hanginginthere Wed 06-Jul-05 21:36:13

ARGH! What do you mean Santa and the tooth fairy aren't real?!!
I vaguely remember not REALLY believing in Santa but not saying anything about it

Hulababy Wed 06-Jul-05 21:40:36

I honestly have never, until coming to Mn, ever considered Father Christmas stories as a lie as such; just as another fairy tale/magical thing belonging to childhood. i certainly felt no sadness or anger, or anything similar, towards my parents or other adults about keeping this big "lie" going - infact I like the fact that they did do father Christmas and kept Christmas all magical for me and my brother and sister. I have no intention of spoiling (IMO only) that magic for DD (age 3). I love it - and I love seeing the expression on DD's face when she sees FC and believes.

It's very similar to here being at Disney - she still belieeves, and it is pure magic on her face, and such a delight to see. I am not ready to take that away from her, or me.

I don't see stuff like that as being lies as such - just stories and magic, fun stuff.

Now important lies, etc. that's different.

but that is just my opinion.

spidermama Wed 06-Jul-05 21:40:46

Regurgetation is always the risk I run as an MN novice Fruit. Sorry.
Ok I'll wait 'til Christmas.
How long is it 'til Christmas? How long is it 'til Christmas? How long is it 'til Christmas? How long is it 'til Christmas? How long is it 'til Christmas? How long is it 'til Christmas?

toothyboy Wed 06-Jul-05 21:45:57

I have 2 older brothers and subsequently don't think I ever believed in Santa and the toothfairy - they had too much fun destroying any mystery or excitement for me in anything!! However we were all allowed to sleep in the same room on Christmas Eve and had far more fun setting traps for mum to trip over etc in the dead of night!!!

fruitful Wed 06-Jul-05 21:49:57

We found that the magic wasn't any less just because she knew it was a game. We still did sooty footprints on the fireplace and half a chomped carrot by the stocking. She just knows that mummy buys the pressies really.

Can we have Christmas in July please? The weather is bad enough! If I can't have sun I want presents and turkey... Ooh mince pies. Mmmm

fastasleep Wed 06-Jul-05 21:51:51

My god I could eat a whole turkey if you smeared it with cranberry sauce...

Why do I want to capitalise those? Cranberry Sauce, Turkey... it's like it's holy or something!

marthamoo Wed 06-Jul-05 22:07:54

I lie about everything - I lie about a hundred times a day. No there are no biscuits left, no the park's shut today, no we haven't got any more batteries for that noisy and annoying game, no I don't know where the light sabers are...

QueenOfQuotes Wed 06-Jul-05 22:09:38

LOL marthamoo - me too

toothyboy Wed 06-Jul-05 22:10:01

My best lie was "Shh your Thomas cake is sleeping until your birthday party" It lasted about 4 days!!!

spidermama Wed 06-Jul-05 22:13:46

They'll find you out Martha and QOQ, if they haven't already. Then you'll be stuffed because they won't believe a word you say.

edam Wed 06-Jul-05 22:15:02

The most deserving lie has got to be 'of course I don't have any favourites, darling....'

As for Christmas agree with Hula. Father Christmas isn't a lie, he's a myth, a legend, a little piece of magic that we can all perform. Calling it a lie sounds terribly dreary and puritanical. I'm very glad my mother kept it going for me, even once she knew that I knew. (I didn't let on that I knew - was aware that could seriously threaten my present quota).

edam Wed 06-Jul-05 22:16:56

are you serious, Spidermama? Of course children can tell the difference between stories told for their benefit and out and out deliberate lies!

marthamoo Wed 06-Jul-05 22:19:30

And re: Father Christmas (I've posted this before but will regurgitate for spidermama and all the other newbies ). Ds1 asked me if FC was real (last Christmas - he was 7) and I told him the truth. I thought he suspected anyway and didn't want to put him in a position where he was defending the reality of FC to his peers "because Mum says so so it must be true."

It broke his heart. He cried and cried. When I said "but you said you wanted to know the truth" he replied "yes, but I didn't know that was what it was going to be"

Lie....lie for as long as you possibly can. It's just not the same once they know.

nooka Wed 06-Jul-05 22:28:47

I don't believe in encouraging my children to believe in things I don't, so no Father Christmas, and no religion. However for some reason do do the tooth fairy (but not very seriously)...

We of course tell our children lots of tall stories, but they know that these are fibs, and enjoy telling us even taller ones. And of course the "no batteries, empty biscuit tin" fibs come out all too frequently!

I don't have a problem with other families doing these things, and my dd has very definitely told me that I am quite wrong about Father Christmas! These are just not myths that I buy into, so I would feel to be honest embarrassed telling them to the children.

Piggiesmum Wed 06-Jul-05 22:52:21

My parents really drilled into us how bad it was to lie, in a really guilt inducing way, possibly to the point where they were a bit too overzealous/obsessive about it.

You can imagine the revenge I got when I found out Santa wasn't real. All I kept saying was "You LIED to me" is a disgusted tone.

I'm still glad I had the fun of believing as long as i did though. Still haven't decided how we'll handle that one ourselves.

spidermama Wed 06-Jul-05 22:59:45

Martha I think your posting is better as an argument AGAINST lying. I remember being absolutely adamant with my peers that FC was real 'because my Mum and Dad said so, and they don't lie. Ever'. When I discovered they did I was so hurt and humiliated.

That said, my kids believe in him.
I'm getting more vague year after year though.

Heathcliffscathy Wed 06-Jul-05 23:06:32

i always knew f xmas was my parents...have a letter written when i can barely write that says: i know you might be feeling esp poor this year, but please can i have roller skates...i knew it was them...don't remember ever feeling that he existed...

spidermama Wed 06-Jul-05 23:08:24

Did you get the roller skates soph?

Heathcliffscathy Wed 06-Jul-05 23:10:04

i got the really pants ones that are basically a bit of metal with wheels with a leather lace up strap....i wanted the groovy blue and yellow boots needless to say i was told if i got good i'd get them but i never did....

spidermama Wed 06-Jul-05 23:11:11

Course you wouldn't get good on those crappy leather ones. No-one does. You wos done girl!

Flum Thu 07-Jul-05 22:29:02

When daddy is in jail?

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