Using ‘white lies’ to protect your child
Will you do anything to protect your child, even if it means telling a little white lie?
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Parents of today are often accused of raising their kids in a too protective of a manner. This protection sometimes goes beyond just safeguarding them from harm and danger. Parents nowadays are always there to rescue their kids from any of life’s mishaps that may come their way.

But to what extent are parents prepared to go to in order to ‘protect’ their children? Can the need to want to ‘always be there’ for your child be strong enough to drive a parent to lie in order to help their child?

Most parents say they will never lie for their children but this is questionable. Parents are often prepared to lie in order to get their children out of trouble. Here are a few examples of ‘parental white lies’ I have come across:
  • Writing a sick note to school so the child can skip PE class when in actual fact there is absolutely nothing wrong with the child other than laziness
  • Allowing the child to stay at home before a test so they can study, and then have a note sent to school the next day stating the child had a headache.
  • Writing a letter to the teacher to explain the child’s homework was note done due to having to visit a ‘sick’ relative in hospital
  • Keeping your child’s secrets, especially the ‘I won’t tell dad’ declaration. Some mum’s are prepared to lie to their husbands in order to protect their child from getting into anymore trouble.
  • Having a professional complete the child’s school project and then beaming with pride when he/she achieves an ‘A’ when in actual fact the child did not even lift a finger.
  • Constructing inaccurate accusations about a teacher or school and claim this is what is causing the child to fail.
Whilst parents may feel that these are harmless little lies there are serious consequences attached to such behaviour. Firstly, lying to protect your child does not teach them to face the natural consequences that arrive from making mistakes. Every time a parent tries to jump through hoops to come to their child’s rescue they prevent their child from growing and becoming an independent decision maker.

Secondly, setting an example for your child that lying is acceptable makes them grow up to believe that it is ok to lie to get out of trouble. It becomes an option for them to use in life instead of taking responsibility for their actions.

Thirdly, where does the lying stop? Does it go from small ‘white lies’ to lying on an even bigger scale? How do we teach our children what is and is not acceptable lying when we should be teaching them not to lie in the first place or is there such a thing as an acceptable lie?

Would you lie for your child?

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