Is It Okay to Tell Your Kids White Lies?
Children may not yet be able to grasp certain concepts, so lying to get them to do something or to protect their innocence is generally accepted. But Dr Lim Boon Leng, psychiatrist and medical director from Dr BL Lim Centre For Psychological Wellness at Gleneagles Medical Centre, suggests the following:
1 Consider your child’s age and maturity level. Tailor the white lie to your child’s situation and remember that eventually, you will have to tell him the truth. For example, when explaining sex to a young child, it’s fine to talk about the birds and the bees, but when he is older, you may want to sit him down and tell him what really happens during the act.
2 Don’t avoid addressing difficult issues. “If you use white lies to avoid these issues, it may be detrimental to your children,” Dr Lim explains. “Your children may find your white lies silly and lose trust in you. Even worse, they may try to learn the truth from unreliable sources like their friends or the Internet.”
3 Don’t play too much on their fears. It’s not a good way to manage their behaviour – such white lies may result in your little one developing phobias and anxiety problems.