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Alltop, confirmation that I kick ass

Author: toni

~ 09/30/09

Don’t you love these studies that keep coming out that state the obvious? You know like, too much high fructose syrup makes you fat, divorce can emotionally hurt children, men prefer large breasts?

I mean, who FUNDS these studies? And can someone please tell them that their money is better spent on say, domestic violence programs or food banks? Cuz, not to state the obvious without a multi-million dollar study backing it up but, men beat up women and people in the U.S. are hungry.  

The latest study says that PARENTS LIE FREQUENTLY TO THEIR CHILDREN. (CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE). Duh. I could have told you that. In fact, ANY parent could.

We start from the time they’re little with the FANTASIES we feed them. SANTA CLAUS, THE EASTER BUNNY, THE TOOTH FAIRY. These are all elaborate lies, some around which billion dollar industries have cropped up. We rationalize these lies in order to perpetuate the “magic of childhood”. In fact, we even get upset, downright PISSED if someone shatters these lies for our kid before we parents our children are ready to let go of them.  

I mean if some OLDER KID on the playground tells your KID there’s no such thing as Santa? Admit it, it boils your blood.  Know why? because we relive our childhood vicariously through our children. It makes us feel young again to witness their belief in the magic.

Which is why I was ticked off when Julia came home from kindergarten in tears because they were playing a game called “FACT or FANTASY” in which you name something, like the Loch Ness Monster and you say if it’s fact or fantasy. Well, they said “Fairies” and Julia said FACT. Her teacher said, “No, it’s fantasy.”

Julia was beside herself and so was I. I mean, I had spent her formative years convincing her that fairies existed. That those little reflective lights on the ceiling of the car that came from my watch or ring, were in fact her guardian fairy BETTINA (whom she named) coming for a visit. I told her stories of her great great great great great, etc., Irish grandmother GWEELANA, who had been a fairy who married a mortal and that meant Julia had fairy blood in her.

Yes, I know. An elaborate lie fantasy, but one that was an endless source of imaginative fun and bedtime stories. All shattered in one moment by a Kindergarten teacher.

But these aren’t the only lies we tell our kids.

Think of the lies parents tell when confronted with uncomfortable situations or topics. Like, where do babies come from? Why does my sixteen year-old cousin suddenly have such a “big belly”? And what was daddy doing way down under the covers on your side of the bed? The ANSWERS: The stork, she’s eating too many Krispy Kremes and looking for my contact lens.

Then there are the “little white lies” so named to ease the guilt of telling them. These include lies one tells to spare feelings. Those feelings usually being our kids’ feelings. Like, “I’m sure you weren’t invited to the party because it’s a party for bigger girls only”. Or “Daddy and I weren’t fighting. We were having a discussion”.

Okay, on the less admirable and defendable side, we also lie to get our kids to DO things or to STOP DOING things. Like, “if you keep doing that your face will get stuck like that”.  “If you don’t brush out your hair spiders will take up residence there”. “If you don’t quit eating your boogers a GIANT BOOGER will come and eat you.” OR if when a kid misbehaves, you pick up the phone and pretend to have an extended conversation with one of Santa’s elves named WEEBITTEN at the North Pole about the bad behavior, including running down every transgression since the first of the year and what toys on the list will be taken away … Uh, I’m just sayin’.

Look, we gotta lie to our kids. Because sometimes they’re not ready for the truth. And sometimes, frankly, we’re not ready for it either.

It’s not that we don’t believe that honesty is the best policy. It’s just that we don’t believe it’s the best policy ALL THE TIME.

Does this really damage a kid, as the study suggest? I don’t think so. Because we parents have the instincts to know when our kids are ready for the truth. And when they are, we start telling it.

Well, usually. For now, Julia has resumed her belief in fairies. Because I told her that her teacher was like all those characters in movies who don’t believe in Santa. They have lost the magic in their own lives. I asked Julia if she wanted to be one of those people. She said absolutely no. So she believes. At least until that 2nd grade kid on the playground or the older brother of a friend tells her otherwise.

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