A while ago, I took my daughter to the dentist for the first time. To make sure that this first visit doesn’t leave a trauma, I chose the simpler of the two possible methods: resorting to bribery. As expected, my family and friends were appalled at my choice. Most of them believe that the children should be carefully explained why something must be done rather than bribing them. They’re probably right, I won’t argue with that, but bribery was easier and I was convinced that it would do the trick.
Should the kids always be told the truth? Absolutely. And now please focus and think hard if you really always abide by this holy rule or maybe not every time? Here are a few examples from life, and I’m sure that there are no parents, single or not, who have never told their children rubbish or white lies because that was the best they could come up with at the time.
– Mum, why can’t we go to the playground? (because I’m knackered and I just want to lie down)
Because it’ll be dark soon, honey. Besides, it’s been raining and everything’s wet.
– Mum, why can’t we go to dad’s? (because he hasn’t planned to see you today)
Honey, dad is very busy. He’s at work now, not at home.
– Mum, will you buy me the golden fish toys that make bubbles in the aquarium?
Sure, you’ll get them for your birthday (in half a year, she’ll forget what she’s been asking for)
What would you have done? Ok, so maybe the purest educational principles would demand that the children should be told if they could get a toy or not, and why. As for seeing her dad, the shrinks insist that clear rules should be set and the situation defined. No explanations required. Simply, today you can see your dad, and tomorrow you can’t. Period. However, I’m positive that every single mother has had to face the situation when her child asked to see the father outside the agreed terms. And every one of them surely said what she had to say to avoid seeing tears well in her child’s eyes.
Should the child always be told the truth or is the truth sometimes somewhere in the middle, and it’s better to wait until the children grow a little before we face them with the life’s harsh realities? To be honest, I don’t know. But I promise to share it with you once I think of the failsafe solution to this dilemma.