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Parents Should Be Allowed to Lie to Their Children

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By samanthaalt
Words 960
Pages 4
PHI 102
20 February 2016

The question that crosses our minds time and time again is whether or not parents should always tell their children the truth. We must first ask ourselves the definition of truth. Truth in this case will be defined as that which is in accordance with fact or reality.In discussing the reality of situations with children, each case differs.
Christians have been celebrating the birth of their lord and savior, Jesus Christ, for centuries and centuries. Jesus’ birth is a ginormous holiday that is celebrated every year on January 25th. The only problem adults ran into was they couldn't find a way to keep children interested. That's when they concocted a fictional character who delivers presents to all the well behaved boys & girls. The character in which I am referencing is most commonly known as Santa Claus. Society uses Santa to influence children to be more involved in the holiday spirit. Growing up my mother repeatedly told me “If you don't go to church, then you're not being a good girl. And if you're not being a good girl, then Santa won't bring you presents!” After about ten years of acting on my best behavior during the Christmas season, I discovered that Santa pretend. My parents put endless time and money into Santa Claus. However, they did achieve the goal of me attending mass on a weekly basis. In cases such as this, I find that lying to children is a must. In the modern day United States of America, children of all religions now celebrate Christmas. The concept of Santa is now just a common tradition amongst the world. If you didn't honor the annual tradition of Santa, your family would be an oddity against society. Therefore you must lie to your children in order for them to enjoy the experience.
On a more serious side of this question, I will move into a more personal matter. At the age of three my parents, Doreen and Keith, suddenly divorced. Being that I was so young there were many barriers that came with telling your child about the divorce. My mom had sole custody of my brother, John, and me, but our father was mandated to have us every other weekend. I grew up loving and adoring my father. One may have even referred to me as a “daddy’s girl”. It wasn't until about the age of twelve that I began to question the divorce to my parents. My mother told me her side and my father told me his side. One life skill I learned early on is that there's three sides to every story. In this case the third side being the truth. My father sugar coated all of his reasonings, while my mother was straight out blunt with the truth. I continued to question both my parents on the argument of the opposite parent. That's when I discovered that my father had cheated on my mom for multiple years before suddenly leaving her. When I asked my mother why she lied to me about the reason for the divorce she confessed to me that she was told to do so. At the time of the treacherous divorce, Doreen’s therapist advised her to keep the truth from John and me in hopes that our opinion on our father wouldn't change nor become biased. Although her intentions were pure, my mother was still fed me a misrepresentation of the divorce for twelve years. In this case my mother had no choice but to lie in order to protect her kids. Being that I'm older and wiser than I was at age twelve, I agree with her decision.
In most cases it seems that parents lie to their children in order to safeguard them or make sure they’re comforted. Growing up my mother would tell John and me tiny fibs. One of her most common being that if we don’t brush our teeth before bed we will not receive desert after dinner the next evening. John, being that he was spoiled more than milk, would still receive his desert even after not brushing his teeth the evening before. The only problem that came about was that his baby teeth were rotting away. The dentist insisted that he have them removed surgically immediately. At this time he was only six years old and had barely felt pain besides a scrape or bruise to the knee. The removal and capping of his teeth were going to put him through intense agonoy. The days leading to the surgery, with the event swarming through my brother’s diminutive brain, he repeatedly queried my mother questions about what was going to occur. The most repetitive question being whether or not he was going to suffer pain. Knowing how worrisome John could be, my mother promised him he wouldn’t even feel a pinch. And well, she lied. John indured massive amounts of mouth and teeth pain for weeks following the operation. At the end of the day, my brother being lied to was the best way for him to feel contentment leading into the surgery.
With such evidence we can deduce that in fact it is acceptable to lie to children. In all three cases the parents hid the truth in order to comfort their children and shelter them from growing up too quickly was all out of love. There are certain responsibilities and issues, deemed inappropriate by society, that must be hidden from or sugar coated to youngsters. It can be viewed as our duty as grown adults to lie to children in order to be morally correct. Grownups have been lying to children since the beginning of time and will continue to lie until the mere end.

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