the truth

A sticky conversation between me a few people recently. Or more to the point, lying... What is a lie, are all lies bad, etc etc.
My friend told me the other day that I upset her when I told her that I disagreed with her telling her children that there is a Santa Claus.... I told her it was lying.
And it is.
But so is lying to a friend whose surprise birthday party you are planning.
Those two situations are not really equal - in my eyes anyway.
Sure, I could have not phrased my "well, you're just lying to your children" in a better way. One that wasn't so judgemental ...but I still stick by my belief.
If I tell my child something I KNOW to be UNTRUE and I tell them it is... that is a lie... no two ways about it!
The birthday party thing is a bit different. I think it is perfectly acceptable to lie when planning a surprise for someone... because the reveal at the end brings them in on the secret in a HAPPY way... not a ... oh yeah I forgot to tell you Santa doesn't really exist let down kind of a way. And really a grown-up will understand the need for the lie... so that they can be surprised... I don't really think children understand why we lie about Santa.
Okay - enough with the Santa... I was just using that as an example... I think lying about anything to our children is wrong. I don't think we should scare them with things that they cannot understand yet... but I think all questions deserve an honest answer.
Yes, we all die...
Yes, the shot will hurt...
No, there are no monsters under your bed
We ask them for the truth... is that too much to ask of even ourselves?

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