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Lying to Protect Your Kids: Harmless or Damaging?

Lying to Protect Your Kids: Harmless or Damaging?

Most moms say they'd never lie for their kids. But Circle of Moms member Heather P. reports that "moms lie all the time." She's both a mom and a school teacher, and says parental fibbing is commonplace. "Every time a report or project is due I get at least one note...of excuse, from the mundane to the fantastic, about why the little one couldn't do the project in time."

And why are so many parents lying? According to Dodie C., it's because everyone else is doing it: "My daughters complained to me because I wouldn't lie to get them out of trouble [when] they didn't do their homework. The biggest complaint was always, ‘Well, so and so's mom wrote her/him a note with an excuse on it!"

Moms aren't just lying for their kids at school; many Circle of Moms members say they know parents who lie to help their kids get onto Facebook, which prohibits children under 13 from registering. Alexa H. says her two stepsons, ages 10 and 11, have their own Facebook accounts because their birth mom signed the permission. Now her birth son, who is also underage for a Facebook account, wants her to do the same for him. "My youngest son, who is 11, wants a Facebook page of his own because his brothers have one. I have told [him] that I won't lie to the creators of Facebook, like some other parents."



Family Secrets

Circle of Moms members who fess up to telling little fibs on behalf of their kids say it can be justified under certain circumstances. Sara D. probes on these, asking, "If your child came to you and told you something that they didn't want you to tell your partner, would you keep that secret for them? What if your daughter wanted birth control or your son/daughter told you they were thinking about having sex or were already having sex? Are there some small things that you could keep secret, but others that you would need to discuss with your partner? "

Candi H. says there are indeed certain "secrets" she keeps from her husband to keep him from getting "upset" with their children. Keeping these secrets is not really lying she says, as they are "not worth repeating" to her husband. "My daughter thinks my son's friend is cute, not worth repeating. My son accidentally washed his MP3 player, not worth repeating. If they told me something that will affect their lives or grades, I will ask them if they think their dad should know, and why or why not? Then I would give them the opportunity to mention it."

Alecia D. is another mom who says she too will fudge the truth for her kids. "I want my daughter and any other kids we might have to know they can come to me with anything, and I will always keep an open dialogue so if they wouldn't want their dad to know I'd just have to judge at the time if he really did needed to know. But I don't think he needs to know everything, especially when it comes to our daughter."

Natural Consequences

Other Circle of Moms members say they are hesitant to lie for their kids, for any reason. Tania S. points to the primary reason: when you lie for them you're preventing them from taking responsibility for their actions. "I want my boys to know that there are consequences to their actions. My oldest is 14 and walks to school. If he forgets to turn on his alarm and ends up late he asks me to call the school. I don't and he faces detention. I always want them to take responsibility for what they do. That doesn't mean I don't want to always protect them; I just want them to understand that lying doesn't solve the problem."


Many Circle of Moms share her stance on always telling the truth and nothing but the truth, at least as far as their kids are concerned. "I haven't come across any instance where I've [wanted to] lie for my kids, and at this point, I can't think of any where I would," says Teresa. Amie T. agrees that she would never lie to an authority figure to hide her child's wrong doing. "I firmly believe in natural consequences," she says. "That means if they screw up - they face the consequences. Whether it's from a teacher, principal or a police officer. I am not going to shield them from that."

And Amber N. warns that lying for your kids can have long-term consequences. "I can't imagine ever lying for my children and don't ever intend to do so. I used to date a guy whose parents jumped through hoops to make his life easy. They covered for him at every turn. Writing notes for him, paying bills when he blew his money, lying to people who he pissed off. He was the laziest person I've ever met and he had no clue how to manage his life. That is not what I want my child to grow up to be. "

Would you lie for your kids?

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.

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