Well I’ve been caught out. It seems that as a parent there is a cut off date as to when you can stop telling your kids little white lies to get them to do things.
Take Baby Bunny for example. One of the constants with my two year old daughter, as she moves towards three is to lie my way out of reading time every evening. This is not to say I don’t read to her, quite the opposite, Ms Rabbit and I take it in turns to read every night. Ms Rabbit reads in Korean and I read in English. You all probably know that reading books to your children is massively important. In that it helps opening neural pathways and the other building blocks of intelligence.
However after the third book every night I want out. Three books is enough. Any more reading is just plan painful.
So I lie. My classic lie is;
“I’ll just go get another book from downstairs and be straight back”
Which of course means I will go downstairs and watch TV while you drift off to sleep. Unfortunately this lie no longer works. Now I hear her screaming;
“Where is my book!” at the top of her lungs.
That lie is dead. Now we just have to stand up and say “No, time for sleep” which means every night ends in tears
And so it was at Ikea on the weekend. You all know Ikea, the place where you spend an age wondering around the maze until you end up in the food hall, with a bunch of stuff you don”t want and food that is only palatable to those who do not have fructose intolerance and like eating sausage mince rolled into balls. Baby Bunny ended up in the small playground. All good fun until we wanted to leave.
“Come on lets go”
I now put on my very tough dad voice “Okay we are going now and if you don’t come I am going to get really angry”
“No!” replies Baby Bunny
I swear under my breath and here comes the lie.
“Okay if you come with us now we will to a really big special playground”
Baby Bunny runs over and says loudly to Ms Rabbit and I “We’re going to a special playground”
In fact as we left Ikea and walked into the rest of the mall Baby Bunny made sure everyone in our vicinity knew that we were going to a really big really special playground. Problem is there was no playground and after spending an age in Ikea Ms Rabbit and I just wanted to go home.
The end result was tears. Tears and yes, more tears.
We have reached the tipping point. We can no longer lie and hope she goes to sleep and forgets. If we are saying we are going to do something we better dam well do it. It’s good for us because it fosters honesty.
I wonder why politicians have never worked this out?