I wonder if its easier to lie to my kids

Written by Kesang Menezes on Tuesday, 16 February 2016. Posted in Communication

This blog has been contributed by Kesang Menezes, Co-founder - Parenting Matters and a certified parent educator.

My kids want to watch TV. I say, "No".

And they ask, "Why?"

I wonder if I am ready to launch into the whole explanation of how they have already seen too much TV today and that TV is not good for them.Or should I just say " The TV is not working" or " No cable today "and save myself an hour of discussion and wailing!!

The next day they start crying about wanting to go to the beach. I glibly reply, "The beach is closed today." And they keep quiet. Ah! that was easy.

I need to take them to the doctor but I know if I say so the crying will start from the previous day. So I just bundle them into the car and say we are going shopping. And head to the doctor. I will deal with their reactions when we get there.

I feel a twinge of guilt. Am I the only one who is not honest with my kids? I talked to some other parents. "Yes of course we do it. How would we manage otherwise?"," Can you imagine trying to reason with a three year old as to why you cannot take her to the beach at ten in the night and that too after an exhausting day?"

As parents we are in so many situations where we can manipulate our kids and save ourselves the effort of dealing with their distress. It's so much nicer to blame the beach for being closed than take the blame for being the mean mom who is refusing to take them to the beach!

I felt relieved to know that I was not alone in using these tactics. Yet a thought occurred to me. For the sake of short term gain was I causing long term pain for both my child and me?

In her book 'Connection Parenting', Pam Leo says, " Our effectiveness as parents is in direct proportion to the strength of the bond we have with our child. Securing and maintaining that bond is our primary work as parents and is the key to optimal human development."

Gordon Neufeld, a well-known developmental psychologist speaks about How to develop good attachment with your child in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oeqnws-2M0

 Would my child start doubting me once she found out that the beach does not "close" or that the TV was actually working? Having solved the problem temporarily am actually creating a larger problem where my children cling and whine and throw tantrums because they actually do not believe me? When they start understanding things, will they trust me?

Consequently, will it be detrimental for the attachment between me and my child that is just developing?

Dealing with their questions and feelings 24x7 is hard but it's sure worth it.

About the Author

Kesang Menezes

Kesang Menezes has been facilitating parenting groups and workshops since 2004. She believes that small interactive groups are a very powerful tool for learning. She also writes articles for Parent Circle magazine, the Hindu and other publications and has short online videos on Parenting.

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