By: Emily Shandruk
The Blue Fairy told Pinocchio, “A lie keeps growing and growing until it’s as plain as the nose on your face.”
Can you imagine, as a Mom, if this indeed was true?
“Sorry, kiddo, I just can’t read another story; I am (YAWN) so tired and need to go bed…”
Narrator: But she wasn’t going to bed; she just really needed a break….and to eat some chips and dip without having to share.
And it’s not just the bedtime lies – as moms, we kind of lie ALL. THE. TIME.
My 5-year-old asks: “Can I have a treat for breakfast?”. “No dear, you need to eat something healthy and nutritious! Have this apple.”
….Then after school drop-off, I stop and grab a mocha with whip cream and a chocolate croissant.
My 8-year-old asks: “Can I stay up late and read one more chapter of Harry Potter?” “Sorry, you need to get a good night’s sleep to be ready for school tomorrow.”
….Then I stay up until midnight binge-watching Netflix.
The number of lies I tell in a day, week, month, year…they would have me vying for rhinoplasty pretty quick if the Pinocchio tale was accurate.
There are the little lies, such as early bedtimes – and then there are the enormous, more universally accepted lies —Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy.
In addition to these, there are what I call the ‘everyday survival lies’. These include twisted truths such as: “Sorry sweetie, the toy store is closed.” Or, “No, the indoor playground isn’t open today.”
Who knew that the pandemic would make us long for those ear-piercing, germ-filled jungle gyms that we’d eventually have to carry our crying kids out of?
As a parent, I wonder – do we have the right to embrace our little white lies because they usually add to the betterment of our kids (or snacking habits)? Can we pat ourselves on the back because we add joy and excitement to their lives through traditions like filling stockings and replacing teeth with coins?
I’m really not sure what the answer is here.
What I do think though, is that maybe it’s not about the lies that we tell at all – but why we support the lie in the first place. Perhaps it’s not about the lies we tell but our actions, and how we show our kids how our internal Jiminy Cricket guides us?
The Blue Fairy did tell Pinocchio that “You must learn to choose between right and wrong.” So, while I may lie, fib…alter the truth from time to time for the sole benefit of my kids (or me, sometimes it’s for me), at the end of the day I’ve accepted there’s a place for it in parenting.
Besides, if eating a bag of chips with dip after my kids are asleep is wrong, then I don’t want to be right.
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