Today I had to teach my son a lesson – a lesson in telling lies.
Ethan is honest to the core. He cannot tell a lie. He cannot keep from telling the truth even if it gets him into trouble. Sometimes he is TOO honest.
And it’s a trait that I like in him.
Last week though, I had to teach him to tell lies – white lies they may be but a lie all the same.
He was spoken to by the teacher last week because he told another child that her drawing wasn’t great. In fact, he told her that her rainbow fish looked like a flying pig. Well, she had asked him how her drawing looked. And he said it had a snout like a pig so he told her what it looked like. No harm in that, is there?
Apparently there is.
I always thought that his honesty would get him into trouble and it did. His teacher told him he can’t be rude. Ethan tells me he was not being rude, he was being honest.
Where do you draw the line?
Do you teach your child to lie and tell another person what they like to hear in spite of the fact that it’s not what you think? Don’t we do that often? Tell someone they look charming to think in our heads that they look hideous.
As we grow older we grow more tactful and we are able to tiptoe past these awkward situations.
A child is guileless and cannot understand why he has to lie.
I explained that he may hurt someone’s feelings by being honest and maybe if he doesn’t really like the picture, he should just smile or avoid answering. But to him, it’s even more rude if you don’t answer a person and ignore them – which is in a way correct.
And if he says it’s nice, then to him he is lying. He argues that what if the person starts thinking he is a great artist when in fact his drawing is really bad. Some thought there.
I told him it’s not really a lie when you say something to make someone feel good. But as I said those words, I know, in my heart of hearts, a lie is a lie.
And thus sets the path for deception.
I’ve led him to the path, maybe even pushed him on to it. And to be honest, I don’t like it.
I don’t want him to be artful, to tell lies. But social factors demand it and for the sake of peace, we are bound to confirm. From an early age. And I had to make sure my child does too.
Go on son, let’s see how long your nose can grow.
I’ve just taught my son to lie and I hate it.