With the Easter Bunny’s annual visit approaching, I asked some couples what fibs and outright lies they tell their children. For the record, every parent I consulted said convenient little fibs such as “the video shop is closed today” or “this pool has special dye that makes your wee turn red” are important parts of a parent’s survival kit. The only thing separating a good lie from a bad one is the intention behind it.
Stories to boost fantasy. I love all the out-and-out whoppers we tell kids to encourage a sense of wonder in their world. The Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, making a wish when you blow out the candles on your birthday cake – all in good fun. One year I dressed up as Santa for all the three- and four-year-olds staying with us, and the joyous wonder they greeted me with – dressed in a tacky Santa suit, a taped-on beard and a pillow stomach – well, if that’s wrong, I don’t want to be right. Kids adore a good story and often they’re just playing along.
When my dad arrives at our house, the kids always answer the door and ask him, “Where have you been, Poppy?” His answer is always the same, “What do you want, the truth or a good story?” They always respond with a chorus of “Good Storeeeeeeey!”. Then he’s off, telling my boys about fighting sharks, rumbling bears or evading “Terrible Tom the T. rex ” to get to our house.