As a parent you get used to leaving out details when discussing important things with your kids. I call them half-lies.
Like gumballs, for instance. I never told FZ that they actually were made of gum. I just told her they were balls. One day my half-lie was about to unravel when FZ held the ball tightly in her hand and some color came off. She licked her hand and wondered where the sweet taste came from. I was just as confused as she was.
Or when FZ refused to brush her teeth. So I told her fine, but if she saw bugs in the morning, not to come crying to me. I just conveniently left out the part that these bugs are actually microscopic. And who likes bugs in their teeth?
And I don’t know any parent who hasn’t told half-lies about food. If you eat your chicken you’re going to be so strong because it has protein! Spinach has iron and iron is so good for your brain. You want to be smart, don’t you?
Even when it comes to safety, I never really disclose all the horrible, scary things that happen in this world. I have to keep it simple and show I’m confident, even though I might really be worried. Don’t ever wander off in public places without telling me or your father because you can get lost and that would make us sad. I don’t have to explain all the horrific things that go through my brain when I think about my kids and if they ever went missing.
Since having kids I swore that I would never lie to my kids. It breaks their confidence and shatters their trust in us if we lie to them. So far I’ve been pretty good. If I didn’t want FZ to have something, like soda, I never lied and said it was ‘medicine’ or that it tasted bad. I simply said that she couldn’t have it. She’s going on 5 years now and she’s smart, well-adjusted and doesn’t even bat an eye if she sees soda or anyone having soda.
It’s all because I respected her intelligence enough to tell her the truth.
I know one day FZ and her siblings will grow up and realize gumballs are sweet and fun, but at least they won’t come to me blowing bubbles accusing me of lying to them.
And so I raise this glass of fresh juice to parents everywhere and all the wonderful maneuvering we have to do to ensure our kids grow up healthy and safe!
Carrot juice anyone? You know carrots are sooo good for your eyes….