Don’t tell lies. This is something all parents teach their children.
Honesty is the best policy and it’s a trait valued by all adults. Without honesty there is no foundation for a lasting relationship whether that be with a family member or friend.
Honesty is something that builds trust. So why then do we parents tell so many fibs?
OK, you could probably call them white lies; you know, the kind that is often trivial, harmless and well-intentioned.
I have two daughters and I unashamedly admit that not a week goes by without one of these not-so-naughty lies coming out of my mouth.
Let’s be completely honest: last month I often reminded my daughters when they were not in the best of moods that Father Christmas was about to write his naughty and nice list. This did exactly the job I had intended it to do and good behaviour was restored in the Hayden household.
But I have done a lot more fibbing since I became a dad and if I was Pinocchio my nose would be rather long by now.
The words ‘we’ll see’ are often sent in the direction of five-tear-old Alyssa and seven-year-old Caitlin when they ask me a question like ‘can we go to the park later?’ when I’m tired and all I want to do is lounge on the sofa for the rest of the day.
It’s just easier than giving them a straight yes or no and doesn’t reveal the outcome.
Their hopes of a visit to the swings aren’t set high but at the same time they aren’t dashed, even when I know what the outcome will be.
‘Daddy doesn’t have his wallet’ is another little lie I tell my daughters. Maybe when we’re driving past KFC and the smell of the colonel’s secret recipe is wafting up their noses. It works a treat... as long as they don’t check daddy’s pocket.
On most car journeys, like all parents, I’m asked ‘are we nearly there yet?’ The sat nav is telling me we still have 30 miles to go, but to try to prevent that question being fired at me again, I’ll tell a little innocent porkie and answer ‘yes, nearly there’.
But as both my daughters get older and wiser, I know my little white lies won’t work any more.
They are already getting wise to them and have been known to tell the odd innocent white lie to me. Like when Alyssa recently admitted that in the early hours of Christmas morning, she spotted Father Christmas placing presents under the tree.
Of course, this wasn’t a white lie because we all know Father Christmas is real.
LESSONS LEARNT ON WAY TO SCHOOL
On the walk to school with my two daughters I’m seeing far too many near-miss accidents.
It’s usually between a car, travelling way too fast and a child not paying attention to where they are going.
Hopefully a lesson is learned by these near misses for both the driver and the pedestrian.
But it shouldn’t take a near miss for a lesson to be learned.
My daughters are aged five and seven and they are yet to venture across a busy road on their own.
But I know the time will come when I have to put trust in them to do,what should be, a safe and simple task.
I can’t do anything about the drivers in Portsmouth, some of them parents, who find it acceptable to speed, even if it does rile me when it is done in a 20mph zone next to a busy school.
But I will continue to educate my children on road safety, the green cross code and the importance of looking both ways before they cross.