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Children Deserve the Truth

Speaking the truth about race is not racist. It can be repeated for racist reasons if there is malice in someone’s heart. But truth itself is neutral. Lies in the other had always have some corrupted motive behind them, a purpose to keep you from truth.

Lies have sticky feet in the mind

There is no defense against the truth, says scripture. But lies always have a defense, and of course that is the truth. But since the public presence of lies is greater than the activity of truth, we must be extra careful what we believe, what we repeat and what we hear and read and from whom. Lies are aggressive in getting out there into the public. Once established in the mind a lie is terribly hard to dislodge.

Children suffer the most from lies

Children often believe well into their old age that they caused their parents divorce – they were too much trouble, they cost too much, they had been bad. This especially plagues the very small children who have no adult reference points to examine. Children hear enough of guilt without adding to it and they know nothing of legal action, physical problems, emotional or mental illness, or social and political forces beyond their world. Even when you minister peace to them they can retain that nagging feeling that you are just being “nice” and trying to make them feel better.

Saying I don’t know is better than wrong answers

Deception, which are lies in fancy dress, is worse Fifty years ago parents might say a baby would be brought by the stork, instead of a full description of procreation. Not a good idea. You can say instead, “God sends babies to families” and be done with it. It has the added benefit of telling the child s/he was probably wanted. You can then suggest the child ask God how he pulls that off and the kid will probably forget the whole thing and move on. They have a short attention span. Deception muddies the idea of science and reality. If anything is real, science is even though it is often misinterpreted.

Keeping truth inside boundaries

You should find out why the child is asking, or what, before you jump into a long discussion.

Tommy: Dad: Where did I come from?

Dad: (worried that he will need to describe the birds and the bees) That would take a long time. What do you want to know?

Tommy: Johnny Wilson just moved. He says he comes from Texas. I just wondered where I came from.

Dad: You were born in Ohio.

We have a tendency to either offer too much information or too little. Focus on what the child really wants to know and why. And then use it to instruct.

You can then say, “That is a good way to get to know other kids. You can always ask them where they were born.” Parents are so busy with multitasking they let opportunities for instruction go by. Many children have trouble making friends- and the ones who don’t need no instruction.

The little girl who is scared of a spider, and yes, reassure her that they don’t belong in the house, can be asked to look up this spider on the Internet and find out what nice things it does for the environment. This way unimportant foolish kids’ questions and fears can be turned into parenting victories.

And please, never tell your kid a question is stupid. You can be sure they’ll never ask you to answer a question again, and who knows where they’ll go for another answer.

#parenting

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