Lying- it’s my pet peeve. YOU DO NOT LIE, except when I tell you it’s ok. Let me explain. As a child I was abused by a neighbor. I didn’t know it was ok to say NO and I didn’t know I could lie to get out of a situation. I always told the truth. Years ago when my kids were little we got “Chilly Stomach” from the library. I read it to the kids. It talks about that feeling you get inside your stomach when you know things are not right. I told my kids how to lie and get out of any situation they felt uncomfortable with.
“If you feel that unsafe feeling in your gut- just go to the restroom- spend extra time in there and moan. Then flush the toilet twice. Come out and tell your host that you are going to vomit and ask to go home.” Even the creepiest of creeps doesn’t want you to vomit all over their house. My daughter only had to do this once. She came home and told me, “Mom- that dad was a real creep. So I did what you said. I told them I was gonna PUKE and they called you to come get me.”
I don’t know if that dad was really a creep or not but I trust my kid’s gut and I praised her for getting out of there. I think it’s ok to lie in some cases. To ensure your safety- lie away. To protect loved ones when you don’t want to hurt their feelings is another reason to lie at times. In our house we call them “white lies.” So if we can’t talk to someone and don’t want to hurt their feelings it’s ok to say “I’m sorry I can’t talk right now,” even if we really have nothing else to do. It’s not ok to do that and be mean but sometimes certain folks require bandwidth that we just don’t have at that moment in time.
I tell my kids to be truthful at all times but you also have to trust your gut instincts. Those instincts are inherent and are there if you allow yourself to hear them. Maybe you were invited to a birthday party and your friend wasn’t. Maybe until you figure out how to tell them you avoid the conversation and wait til you are in a safe place to share the news with them. Not telling them isn’t lying to them it’s protecting their feelings until you have time to figure out what to do.
Tell a trusted adult. That’s important too. Who do you trust? I told them also to trust their gut on this one too. Meghan has figured out that the Nurse, and her school counselor are trusted adults and she’s chosen them if she needs help at school. In our neighborhood she knows several neighbors she can go to if she needs a helping hand when we are not home and they’ve already gone out of their way to prove to her that they are in fact the trusted adults that live near us.
Have these difficult conversations with your kids. You may never had to lie to get out of a situation but I can tell you that I wish I had. I wish that night in 1982 that I had lied and said I was sick and wanted to go home. I wish I knew better. My life may have been different. No matter what- I am honest with my kids so that they can make the decision on how to react and how to deal with situations as they arise. No matter what happens I know I am doing my best to make sure they know that it’s okay to trust that feeling in your stomach when you know things are not right.