Telling The Truth

“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? 


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Joyeux Parenting

I am the proud mother of two beautiful children and have lived in Boston for most of my life. I have over twenty years of experience as a Child Development Specialist working with new families, pediatricians at Mass General Hospital, and Early Intervention. I have a wealth of knowledge and expertise regarding the challenges related to breastfeeding, behavior management, picky eaters, discipline, sleep, and development. I love being a wife and mother and sharing my experiences-the good, the bad, and the ugly. I am constantly learning about new evidence based information as it relates to parenting. Most importantly, I think it is crucial to recognize that we all make mistakes and learn from them. I am a firm believer that humor is essential as you navigate the world. Parenting should be full of joy and that is why I started my business Joyeux Parenting. Thank you for allowing me to share my experiences with you.

One thought on “Telling The Truth”

  1. As far as birth, Z has expressed concern about having a baby because she knows that the Dr had to cut open my stomach to get out the baby. I’ve tried to tell her that hopefully she won’t have the same experience and usually a woman’s body is able to push the baby out herself. I can’t remember how much more detail than that I went into.

    Recently, we have been having a lot of discussions about the presidential campaigns, specifically Trump. The kids at school hear about how he doesn’t like Muslims. Yesterday, Z asked if he would come to our house, ring the doorbell, and then kill us. I told her he wouldn’t do that and she asked if he would be too busy as president. I said yes he would be but the point is that just because he doesn’t like us doesn’t mean he wants to kill us. Sometimes you may not like someone but that doesn’t mean you would hurt them. I’m sure we will continue to have these types of conversations with the kids.

    Over the school break, I had to also explain what sexy meant. That was interesting. 🙂


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