This series is all about 5 easy ways to make a kid happier that may seem a little crazy at first!
1 ) Lie to them
Yes, lie to them. Before judging why this lady is writing an article about keeping kids happy with lies, let me say one thing: Tooth Fairy.
Just saying there are some lies that we tell because they bring joy to children. I’m going to clarify here that we should never lie to children deceitfully or hurtfully, but there are ways that we lie to kids that make their lives more joyful.
For instance, is there a real magical fairy that swoops in during the night to exchange teeth for cash? No, otherwise, we would have all been wearing dentures and taking shopping trips. But does this story bring joy to children? They are so excited by the magic of waking up and checking under their pillow to find this change happened right as they slept!
Here’s another example of how lying can help make a happy kid: When my little guy was around 2, he started his never-ending question of “Why?” Many of these “why” questions happened while we were in the car.
“Why can’t we go into the store?” He was at the age that my response had to make sense in a justified way to satisfy him, but it also had to match his 2-year-old desire to do whatever he wanted.
So I lied a little to keep the peace.
“The store is closed, so we can’t go in.” Could he read the blinking “OPEN” sign yet? Nope, not yet. Was it a better answer than the real reason for needing to get home to cook dinner before his witching hour began and our budget did not have a shopping trip allotment today? Yes!
This lie will not work once this kid becomes a reader, but for now, this lie was a better answer than explaining budgeting/time management. It made him happier to have a reason that he could understand; whether or not he liked it, he could understand the reason.
Sometimes, the adult answer that is the most correct will not make sense to young children. Big concepts like time management, stress, budget, etc., are reasons that we can justify our decision-making. These are also the same reasons that kids have meltdowns.
“I want to go to the toy store right now!” By removing my true reason for time and money constraints, the lie helps ease the pain of not getting the answer he wanted while making the “closed” store the bad guy.