There is a big difference in a little white lie, and a major life changing lie. Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy are all one thing, those aren’t huge life changing lies, but when you lie to your children, they learn the wrong thing and when they find out you lied to them, all your credibility goes right out the window.
I wrote about a few lies that my mother told me in my book. I was told so many stories of how my Grandmother Mimi died. One of them was that she was laying in her bed and she fell asleep with a cigarette in her hand. I told my aunt that on the phone and she told me how she died, and it had nothing to do with a cigarette, although she did tell me that she did drop a cigarette and burned a hole in the mattress, but that’s not how she died.
One of the lies my mother told me which really hurt my feelings was that when I was 1 month old, my father left and went to Germany and never came back. What she didn’t tell me was the truth and that is that he was married to another woman and he had his own family. She was sleeping with a married man. Whether he went to Germany or not is irrelevant. If she had told me the truth when she told me about my father, I wouldn’t have had such hard feelings about him. I spent many years thinking he abandoned me, but the truth was when he left her, she never told him that she was pregnant. She didn’t want me to think poorly of her for sleeping with a married man, so she turned him into the bad guy. The thing is, I wouldn’t have cared if she slept with a married man. I honestly don’t care, what I care about is that she lied to me about it.
When you teach your children lies, they tell other people what they learned. Those people will set your children straight, but it makes them look like idiots because they spend most of their childhood or even most of their lives believing the lies to be true. If you teach them lies, they stop trusting anything say in the future.
Think about it, do you want to be lied to? No, of course you don’t, so why would you lie to your children? Put yourself in their shoes and tell me how you would feel if you learned the truth after being told lies for your entire childhood. I’m sure it doesn’t feel too good.
So don’t lie to your children, and teach them the difference between a white lie, and a bold-faced lie. Also teach them not to lie and tell them the consequences of those lies.