“Tell your children the truth.” I saw this quote yesterday and it made me pause. How do you decide when to tell the truth? When do you leave a few things out? And when do you just lie?
My 8 year old started asking questions about how babies get out of their Mom’s belly. (Thankfully, he didn’t question how they were made). Apparently, it was the topic of the third grade lunch table. (I may have misjudged the bathroom talk that I loathed and wish it would come back.)
My husband looks at me and says-“Well Mom, what’s the answer?” Great, in the blink of an eye I have to decide how to respond. Just what I wanted to do after a long day at work. This wasn’t the first or the last time I will face this dilemma. We reframed the topic and asked him what he thought the answer to the question might be.
As children grow up they seek answers. It helps them grow. When are we obligated to give truthful answers to help them expand their knowledge base? How do you decide how much information to share? I think it is often a slippery slope and each parent has their own opinions on this topic. The interesting factor that you can’t know is the amount of information that peers have to add to the discussions. We don’t live in a vacuum and our children are continually exposed to other information outlets.
Personally, in most cases I give real information (except the typical tooth fairy, Santa, and other magical beings). I talk about birth and death. I share information about disabilities. And I discuss world events in an age appropriate way. But it is tough! The decision to share information and truth is subjective. Yet it is necessary.
What truth have you agonized over lately?