Parents who want to teach the importance of honesty make it a practice never to lie to their children, even when it would be easier just to claim that there are no cookies left rather than to explain why they can’t have another one. – Alfie Kohn
Of course it’s important to model honesty, but there are other reasons not to tell even little white lies like this one.
One of the big reasons why we lie to kids in situations like this is so that we don’t have to be the “bad guy” who makes our child unhappy. If we do this though we miss out on an opportunity to show up for our child as a strong leader.
A strong leader makes hard decisions for their kids because they know what’s best for them. Our children feel more secure when we show up as strong leaders.
Strong leaders also know that it’s okay if our children are upset and they show up with compassion and empathy, knowing that all feelings are okay and they will pass. Being upset and then recovering is how children develop resilience.
The next time you have to break hard news to your child, embrace it. It’s your chance to show up as a strong leader and to help them learn to manage difficult feelings.
Sarah Rosensweet is a certified peaceful parenting coach, speaker, and educator. She lives in Toronto with her husband and three big kids (ages 14, 17, and 20). Peaceful parenting is a non-punitive, connection-based approach that uses firm limits with lots of empathy. Sarah works one-on-one virtually with parents all over the world to help them go from frustrated and overwhelmed to, “We’ve got this!”
Read more at: www.sarahrosensweet.com