Is Honesty the Best Policy?

Paula Locoteta, Student Writer

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As a parent don’t you think the best thing to have with your child is relationship built on trust and honesty? Wouldn’t you want your child to be able to come to you with anything, knowing you’ll tell them the truth? Do you remember the first time you had to look into your child’s eyes and tell them Santa wasn’t real? These questions have been debated for years with parents wondering whether or not they should be completely honest with their children. Based on my experience and research I think it is essential for parents to be honest with their children and be able to tell the important stuff going on.  

Other people may say that children shouldn’t know the truth about a lot of stuff because their brains aren’t fully developed yet to understand what is happening. People may think that the truth can hurt or ruin the child’s view of a person or someone’s action. Even though this could be true with certain situations, not all parents should be following by standard so strictly. Parents might not want to tell their children about violence or war, but that doesn’t mean they have to sugar coat everything else. For example, if a family lives in New York City, their children will be exposed to people on the streets protesting about what’s happening in the world today. That should lead to parents explaining why they are protesting and explain what is happening in a way that they would understand. If a parent chooses not to do this, it could lead to the child questioning other adults or go about it on their own to find answers or make them worry too much about what is happening.

Let’s say your child asked you about your past–would you be honest with them? From the research I have found it shows that parents should be open about their past to their kids because it could be a good teaching moment. In an article I read, “11 Reasons Why You Should Be Completely Honest With Your Kid About Your Past” written by Danielle Campoamor, she said “But being open and honest about what you’ve done wrong at least opens your kid’s eyes to the possibilities and makes them more aware of possible consequences.” If you weren’t the best kid around you should want to tell your child a few of the mistakes you made so that kids know they shouldn’t make the same mistakes as you did. The best outcome from all of this is the trusting relationship you and your child would have with each other. They should be comfortable coming to you to talk about what’s going in their life and just to be able to talk to you about whatever they want. I recently read an article written by Rivs Aikman stating that “Honesty reassures children that their parents will provide them with the truth about a situation when they ask their parents about it, rather than just creating a convenient answer that might embarrass a child when the truth comes out in the future.” Your child trusts that you will be able to tell them the truth about what is going on in the world. 

I’m not implying that you should go tell your child that Santa isn’t real or that you’re the tooth fairy but you should stop telling your children fairy tale lies and sugar coating what is happening. There are ways to tell your child what is happening in a way that they will understand. Children need to know the good from the bad and a lie from the truth.

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