Re: Is it possible to parent your children without lying to them? Do you try?
I absolutely try to tell my child the truth all. the. time! I have no problem explaining things in terms I feel he can understand and if his questions go into an area that I feel either he can not understand or that isn't approporiate for him to hear, I tell him that. I have said "there are some parts of this topic/idea/issue that you will understand and parts of it that we will talk again about when you are older and will understand". I will also tell him that there are topics that are adult topics and are complex with lots of sides and parts to it that aren't easy to explain, so I will answer him in a way that I think he will grasp. He has never been anything but willing to hear what I have to say and accepted my answers.
As for hard topics like death and sex, I tell him as much truth as I can in a way that I feel will suffice his curiousity or interest in knowledge and in a way that won't bring in fear or cunfusion. For example, my mil died last year from cancer after battling it for several years. We all went to see her frequently during her illness and treatments and talked about what was happening every time. I told him that grandma was sick and trying to get better but we weren't sure if she would and that we were going to enjoy every visit we had with her and live and think about today. When she died, we explained to him that her body stopped working and that we wouldn't see her anymore but we would still feel her love. We didn't hide our grief, we didn't hide our tears. I would say "Papa is sad right now because grandma died, and he will need some time to work through his feelings".
When my partner and I fight, and he has heard (wich we obiously try to aoid but...), we explain that Mama and Papa love each other and will always love each other even when we argue. That relationships are like that, sometimes hard and that we argue because people get mad sometimes and thats okay as long as you still treat each other with respect and calm down to talk also.
Now, if someone gets murdered or something horrible happens to someone we know....no, I will not say "a man came in thier house and did xyz and hurt them, etc.". But I will tell him that sometimes bad things happen in this world, and that something happened to _____ and they died. That he has Mama and Papa to keep him safe and that we will always do whatever we can to make sure he is okay. I am sure he will have questions and I will answer them with appropriate information and with words of comfort and reassurance.
I believe that my son will rise to the occasion of my expectations. If I want him to be aware of the world, be always honest with himself and his family, then that is what I will try to show him. I want him to know that he can ask me anything, that I will always try to be truthfull and that I will expect the same from him. Now this works for us, but maybe not for everybody.
ETA: with the dog situation for example, instead of telling him that the dog moved to another place, I would use it as an example of truth and teaching. We have dogs and I want him to know that this is why we keep our dogs on the leash, in the yard etc. I want him to know that the road is dangerous and that poeple/dogs can get hurt there if we aren't careful.
Death, sex, lying, etc. are all parts of life. People and the world have both good and evil in them and I feel that if I raise my children understanding that, they will more easily adjust to reality. I don't ever want them to not know what is really going on around them or feel powerless in any situation as an adult. I believe that knowledge and preperation are power. I also want information to come from me first. I know it will be accurate and they won't have to go to someone else who might really scew the truth for them. They will find all of this out eventually, might as well be from me.
Last edited by milosmama; 10-06-2012 at 06:39 PM.