The other day, I read a blog titled, “Six Little Lies We Tell Our Kids.” While I enjoyed the good-humored post and think I’d like the fun-sounding author, I couldn’t help thinking of six truths we could tell our little ones instead.
1. Instead of telling our children, “Santa Claus is watching you” to get them to behave, we can teach them a truth they won’t outgrow: “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13). Knowing that God sees everything can help them grow into people of character who do what’s right when no one (but Him) is watching.
2. Instead of telling our children, “I was a good kid,” we can be honest about our faults and failures to show the beauty of God’s forgiveness and the power—and necessity—of walking by His grace. Plus, if we share our struggles, both when we were young and now, our sons and daughters will be more likely to open up to us about theirs.
3. Instead of telling our children, “I’m leaving without you,” we can offer real consequences when they dawdle, refuse to get dressed, or throw a temper tantrum. Following through with consistent consequences will teach them to obey instead of disregarding our words as empty threats.
4. Instead of telling our children, “Of course mermaids are real,” we can introduce them to the fascinating world of the imagination and teach them to create stories that impact and entertain.
5. Instead of telling our children an annoying toy is “broken,” we can offer to buy them a new one to replace the irritating one. Or, we could limit when, where, and how long our child can play with the noisy, messy, or battery-guzzling one. Though this lesson may not be easy—on your or the child—it can ultimately teach them consideration for others.
6. Instead of telling our kids, “We’ll get it next time” when they ask for something in the store, we can teach them to be content and grateful for what they have. As they get older, we can teach them to budget, an important skill in a country where the average household owes over $7,000 just in credit card debt, not to mention mortgages, car payments, and student loans.
I’d love to hear what you think in the comments. What “little lies” do you tell your kids? Are there truths that might serve you, and them, better?
What fibs do you tell your kids? Tweet that!