At what age do we stop telling white lies to our children

Article first published as How Old is too Old to Teach White Lies on Technorati.

As humans we are all quite different but most of us have the same basic rule… the no lying rule. But, parents lie, rather they “white lie” to their kids on a daily basis and for years of their child’s life. We do it to protect them, usually from things we don’t feel they are capable of truly comprehending.

Through the years, it has been acceptable to lie about Santa and all his holiday counterparts i.e.; The Tooth Fairy and The Easter Bunny. We even go so far as expanding on this lie so our kids do as we say, “If you don’t clean your room, Santa won’t leave gifts under the tree.” And the ever so wonderful, “I am going to tell Santa that you are being naughty.” That is funny because if Santa knows when you’ve been bad or good why would a parent need to tattle. Good thing kids don’t catch on to that one I guess.

I have no real problem with these “tall tales,” because I think believing in these non-existents can be compared to believing in other things we cannot see: ghosts, spirits, or even God. It is in my opinion, the first step to having faith in what you do not see but, many have or believe they have indeed witnessed. Although, what purpose do these make-believe characters posses? I mean it’s not like we will go to the North Pole when we die and become Santa’s elf or will we?

My question though, is at what age do we tell our kids that we lied and Santa doesn’t exist? Do we, the parents, tell them or allow the other children to tell them for us? How far do we let this go on before we enter bad parent territory?

Forever you shall be my "unconditional" love

I love my kids more then anything in this world or out of it for that matter. I could go my entire life without a single other person near me but, them. Nobody and I mean NOBODY will ever occupy that part of me like they can.

I am sure you will say, “All mother’s say that about their own kids.” No, ALL mothers do not say it, think it or feel, trust me when I say I know many a mother who is more consumed with the scent of her bodywash then that of her children. Sad world we live in isn’t it?!

I say this because as you know, we just celebrated my son’s 13th birthday on the 9th. As I sat with the kids all day waiting for their father to come home, the fires of Hell were visible throughout my entire body. I swear you could not only feel the heat coming off me but, see the red glow just looking for an escape route. 11:30 pm we took my son to eat at Denny’s for his birthday. No cake, no gift, just a lousy ass meal from a second-rate restaurant. I mean they’re ok but, they aren’t birthday material, at least not in my Elizabeth Taylor imagination.

As we drove to Denny’s I became more calm. While ordering food and eating I was much calmer. By the time I went to sleep I was the Dali Lama.  My son was happy, with all he didn’t get, he was still happy!?! We came home, lied on the couch, cuddled and watched Paradise:Hawaiian Style, which my son picked out by the way. It is my firm believe that Elvis can calm the angriest of beasts. I know this to be true because when I am angry, there isn’t anything more fierce on this planet, hence my nickname, Leona. (Lioness)  Singing or acting; that man, who I am also distant cousins with,(my great-great grandma on my father’s maternal side is a Presley) can tame the wildabeast in me.

So today I decided, every birthday will now be a week long event, because this is not the first time and it won’t be the last where I am trying to make rice pudding out of birdseed to make up for their father’s lack of sensitivity and common sense. I came to the conclusion I would take my son to Marshall’s, which closes at 9:30 pm and my son can pick out his birthday gift. I called “it”, because at that moment I couldn’t possibly call him husband. Husband is a word you use for a man who actually does what husbands are suppose to do. I asked him, “Will you be home before 8 pm?” “Yes” he said. Now that right there is where my stupidity comes into play. You see I know damn well that he is never on time. He keeps absolutely no schedule and as soon as I have plans, well…. forget about it…. he will do whatever in his power to screw that up. He walked in the house at 9:30 pm, how convenient!!!! I gave him a verbal bashing, again my stupidity and raging temper came into play, and said I am taking my son to WalGreen’s.

Needless to say, my son got his birthday gift at WalGreen’s. But, he is happy. You read that right, MY SON IS HAPPY with his gift from WalGreen’s. Why am I shocked? I said I raised them right, didn’t I? I was happy with anything I got as a child too because I worked hard for what I got. My kids don’t have to do much, they are basically still spoiled just not with toys like when they were real little.

This is where I know that I am a great mom. This is the part where I get all teary-eyed, realizing I have broken the cycle of bad parenting in my family and sill managed to raise wonderful human beings. And despite the fact my husband can be an inconsiderate jackass of a man when it comes to birthdays and holidays,I know deep in my soul that his part in all of this just reinforces what I teach them. “There will always be people in your life like him”, I told the kids earlier this week. That is the truth, there will always be people in your lives who think they are more valuable, important, gifted, or whatever, than you. It is best to learn how to deal with them sooner rather than later. In otherwords, don’t live your life around their schedule, ignore them and keep living your life fully. People like “them” will one day have to face Karma and aren’t they going to be shocked when they find out the purpose of life wasn’t about money. Oh well, have fun with that.

My children use to get disappointed for their fathers lack of commitment, therefore I too would be disappointed for them. I was constantly picking up the pieces and “fixing” everything. I became exhausted from doing it on a daily basis. I never minded doing it because I am their mother and nobody is more important to me then they are. NOBODY!! I stand by that til my death. When I was in need…they were there. When I was alone…they were there. When I was happy…they were there. They have always been there as I have been for them. And no matter what happens or doesn’t happen, we love one another. That right there is what we call, UNCONDITIONAL LOVE!!  So I leave you with this insight…. keep the ones that matter close and all in life will be as it should be.